The Habtech’s Peace referred originally to an agreement brokered between the various mercenary companies engaged on each side during the months of drift-habitat fighting that characterized the latter phase of the Black Web War, and continues to refer to similar agreements (again, usually between mercenary groups) up to the present day.
Under a Habtech’s Peace, all combatants engaged in extended combat operations aboard a drift-habitat or other hostile-environment shelter agree to
- refrain from using control over or sabotage of structural, main power, thermal control, life support, attitude control, or orbital maneuvering systems as a weapon of war;
- refrain from conducting operations in such a way as to impair the operation, repair, or maintenance of these systems, or in a manner that places key elements of them at risk;
- permit the passage of identified habitat technicians through and between the combat zone and occupied areas as necessary, without let or hindrance;
- refrain from making use of identified habitat technicians as agents of sabotage or espionage;
- actively refuse any offers of intelligence from identified habitat technicians;
- and so forth.
The purpose of such an agreement should be obvious: operations in such environments offer all too many scenarios in which all sides of the conflict lose, in the destruction of the asset over which they are fighting and/or a mass-death event which destroys or renders combat-incapable both sides. Death for death’s sake is in no-one’s interest.
While combatants often cut a course very close to the line, a Habtech’s Peace is rarely violated, and in such cases mercenaries and mercenary-support organizations adherent to the Iron Concord will often join forces to punish the offender. (It is widely believed that the lack of participation of polity forces in these arrangements is due to the lack of ability – in most cases – to punish defectors.)
– from an article in Blood Cheques and Bullets, 7282Q1 issue