The Battle of Kolossen was a space battle fought in the orbit of the planet Kolossen in the Edel star system between forces of and allied to the Yellow Jackets space pirate group and an allied force consisting of elements of the Space Forces' Inner Colonies Reaction Fleet, local orbital defence forces, the Interstellar Police, the Security Service, the Fenian Daggers, and various corsairs and mercenaries, including a large contingent from the Golden Rhinos Company. It was fought on 3 June 3285 and took place largely in the orbit of the planet Kolossen, with some tertiary fighting occurring just outside Kolossen's orbital space.
The battle was the culmination of the Pirate War and was the single largest pitched battle in that conflict. After months of skirmishes and terrorist attacks following the Battle of the Underdark, the Yellow Jacket leadership emerged from hiding and docked at the space colony Rothstein-2. Their leader Solomon Lazar and a group of around a dozen pirates became involved in an apparent bank heist at the commercial concourse district of the orbital docking ring for the space colony. The incident aroused the response of Interstellar Police agents who were actively data-mining for any indicators of Lazar's appearance. Two operational groups of the elite Silver Team were deployed to end the siege of the bank office and capture Lazar and the other pirates. When Lazar escaped, he contacted reinforcements which warped into the planet's orbital zone, prompting alerts from the space colony for military assistance. These coinciding communications escalated into the bulk of the Yellow Jacket space fleet and its allied pirate groups arriving to support Lazar, and a military response squadron arriving to defend the colony along with several pirate-hunting corsair groups arriving to assault the Yellow Jackets. A battalion of space pirate marines boarded the orbital station Valhalla captained by condottieri Siegfried Metzger, seizing control of the station and ramming it into the colony, killing almost a million people.
The result of the battle was the strategic defeat of the Yellow Jackets, the death of Solomon Lazar, and the destruction of the orbital habitat. Over a million people were killed in the course of the battle, most of them civilians. In the following few months, the remaining Yellow Jackets were hunted down and either destroyed or captured. The Battle of Kolossen proved to be the last major engagement in the Pirate War.
In the immediate aftermath of the battle, all participants were assembled at the space habitat Wallerstein for debriefing in the outer station's docking bay. Admiral Lamar Cranwale announced that their estimates proved that the majority of the Yellow Jacket fleet had been present at the battle and the organization had thereby been dealt a critical blow. The corsair captain who had captured Solomon Lazar's ship and whose crewmembers had slain him, Popeye Jones, was awarded a half-bounty for the dead-capture of a wanted pirate and terrorist. However, on suspicion of prior criminal activity, Jones was taken into custody by the Interstellar Police. Many other corsair captains suffered the same fates, including Fenian underboss Benwick MacDougall. Several of these captains were released for lack of evidence for prior crimes, or were granted executive clemency in the following months. Jones, after being convicted of conspiracy to commit acts of piracy and sentenced to five years imprisonment, was paroled after six months and rejoined his crew in December 3285. None of these corsair captains received the death penalty and none served more than six month's time in prison, and most were pardoned or released without imprisonment.
All of the captive Yellow Jacket pirates were subject to a dispute among the law enforcement agencies for jurisdiction. The Interstellar Police contended that those involved were primarily an organized crime gang and were subject to the Galactic criminal court system. The Navy contended that the Yellow Jackets were, above all, space pirates and had to be tried in an admiralty court. The Security Service contended that the captives were domestic terrorists and were subject to immediate and indefinite detention in Secret Police facilities without any trial at all, and could be subject to summary execution. This dispute lasted well into the year when a conference between the relevant agencies agreed that a trial was of symbolic importance and that the Yellow Jackets were simultaneously pirates and terrorists. The accused were brought to trial before the Supreme Criminal Court, bypassing any local or regional jurisdictions. A special prosecution team was devised, led by the Assistant Attorney General for Criminal Law, assisted by attorneys of the Judge Advocate General's Corps of the Navy. The pirates were, without exception, convicted of piracy on the high stars and sentenced to execution by hanging, drawing, and quartering. Those few alien pirates incapable of being hanged from the neck were simply drawn and quartered while still alive.
It is alleged by historians that in December of 3285, a conference was held between several victorious space pirate groups, corsair captains, and mercenary leaders which led to the establishment of the Honourable Galactic Corsair Company, a federation of corsairs and mercenaries operating as a guild across galactic space. Several groups that had been hitherto hounded as criminal gangs were granted executive clemency and allowed to sign on as members of the HGCC. This unique development has led to wild conspiracy theories about the role of the Galactic government in the Pirate War and its aftermath and the degree to which it is or was willing to work with corrupt, violent, or criminal organizations to attain peace and stability in the colonies. These conspiracy theories are largely dismissed by academic historians on the subject.
Rothstein's population was halved by the attacks, which saw the destruction of its second of a pair of orbital habitats and the deaths of the vast majority of its population. It was debated as to whether it would be prudent, tasteful, or even feasible to construct a new cylinder and begin settlement. In the end, it was decided to construct a monument in honour of those that died, the same length as the original colony cylinder and tethered to Rothstein-1. The Kolossen Memorial was completed in May 3287, made entirely of granite blocks mined from Kolossen's largest moon, Pharos, which were launched into space via specially-constructed magnetic accelerators and assembled in orbit after transportation to the construction site. The names of every civilian, corsair, mercenary, and military servicemember killed in the battle were laser-carved onto the exterior of the monument.