Ever since Terra Nova had been proved a success, other colonists had flocked to the planet. Aegis Private Colonisation Industries had for years organized the construction and settlement of colonies on the Martian surface. Colonists' transportation and housing were provided for free by Aegis; in return, colonists were obligated by contract to repay this loan. Though the medium of repayment was unspecified, colonies banded into dozens of small communities focused on creating their own small and sustainable systems of raising funds. Most of these groups established their own small mining operations, selling back to Aegis the same valuable minerals that Hypox sought. Since these colonies were unregistered and had been founded before TOLLUM came into power, the colonies' presence upon the planet's surface was unrecognized by TOLLUM.
Soon after Hypox's equipment arrived on Mars, TOLLUM issued a mandate requiring colonists to immediately cease mining operations and depart from the territory which now legally belonged to Hypox. The settlers, claiming grandfather rights to the lands they had independently settled, refused to obey, and, with support from APCI, formed the Aegian Frontiersmen Army.
For several months, Hypox and the Aegian Frontiersmen army were at an impasse; neither would withdraw their claims to the land.
Enter Osprey Modular Hardware and Weapons Engineering, a research firm and international arms dealer. With legislative approval from TOLLUM, Osprey offered to sell to Hypox the parts required to construct a robotic army to suppress and exterminate the settler rebellion.
The directors of Osprey, however, felt no urge to take sides in the conflict. Aegis, fearing the attacks upon its colonies would leave colonists unable to repay debts and thus threaten the company's solvency, secured a deal with Osprey. In exchange for a percentage of colonial profits, the Frontiersmen Army would be supplied with military hardware equivalent to what was made available to Hypox, leaving the two forces evenly matched in battle.
The war will be long and hard-fought. But to the victor go the spoils. And to Osprey, the profits.