Maitland had purchased a total of four decommissioned ex-Alliance Navy warships - one Agincourt-class frigate and three Ganges-class scouts - which were rearmed and refitted to serve as the colony's system defence force. Despite the short-term pressure the purchases put on the colony's economy, reductions in smuggling and piracy more than compensated, putting Maitland in a profitable position as a safe and reliable trading port. The Maitland Navy also earned some fame in 2184 CE, when it defeated a batarian-led raiding force that had targeted the colony.
Systems Alliance membership
In 2186 the Maitland colonial government signed a treaty with the Systems Alliance, granting the colony full Alliance membership and rights; the move proved controversial among other human Terminus colonies, but had been endorsed by a 78% majority vote among Maitland's own citizens. Negotiations were conducted aboard the Alliance cruiser SSV Khartoum, in orbit of Maitland, with the Alliance government represented by diplomat Diana Julien.
As part of the treaty, the Maitland Navy was integrated into the Systems Alliance Navy, although given its impressive record as an independent force, the four vessels were to be kept in Maitland fulfilling essentially the same role as they had pre-Alliance, with personnel exchanges and technology upgrades to proceed on a sedate timeframe so as to disrupt their performance as little as possible.
Incorporation into the Alliance hit a stumbling block when MCS Coromandel, the frigate flagship of the Maitland Navy, failed to report in on schedule. Although no immediate statement was released by the Maitland administration or Alliance leadership in the system, unconfirmed reports arose indicating Coromandel's Captain Joseph Denton had been in communication with anti-Alliance groups, some of which had publicly protested against the treaty with the Alliance and questioned the truthfulness of the referendum's result.
An unidentified aggressor vessel later inflicted damage on SSV Mudki, one of the Alliance warships in the Maitland system, before retreating; local independence groups made public a statement from a crewman aboard one of the system scouts, identifying the attacker as Coromandel. Several days later an unmanned drone entered the system and transmitted a statement from Captain Denton, alleging that the Alliance membership vote was not fairly conducted (allegations the Alliance denied), and promising to continue harassing Alliance interests in the system in order to secure his colony's independence. In a subsequent incursion Denton made good on his promise, drawing Maitland's Alliance cruiser squadron out of position before inflicting severe damage on the squadron's munitions ship SSV Ericsson, forcing its evacuation. During the attack, insurgents on Maitland hampered pursuit efforts by detonating a bomb inside the colony's Signals Tracking Centre, killing 8 Alliance technicians and 37 Maitland civilians.
The situation further deteriorated for the Alliance when vessels from Thornton and Mindaribba departed their bases with their captains vowing similar opposition to Alliance encroachment. Three Alliance-registered civilian vessels came under attack in the following days, including the freighter MSV Hélène Blondeau, which was lost with all hands. Both the Thornton and Mindaribba governments disavowed any connection to their rogue vessels, however the Alliance accused them of employing this position as a legal fiction to escape responsiblity for participating in a terrorist campaign; Thornton in turn accused the Alliance of destroying the freighter itself as a pretext for stepping up military action.
The brewing crisis reached a sudden climax several days later, when Coromandel reentered the Maitland system and engaged Alliance vessels in a head-on attack, following a broadcast statement from Captain Denton reaffirming his claim that the Maitland vote was rigged, but denying any connection with the Signals Tracking Centre bombing or the subsequent actions of other vessels. Coromandel made a direct attack on the Alliance flagship in the system, and was destroyed by return fire from the squadron. Citing the continued operation of other rogue vessels, the Alliance extended the state of martial law in the system.
The damage to the Alliance navy during the Reaper assault on Earth led to all but one Alliance cruisers being withdrawn from the system to join Alliance fleets; combined with the ongoing and unpopular state of martial law this led to some unrest. Public opinion turned toward the Alliance, however, once the true magnitude of the Reaper War became evident; a local factor was the remaining Alliance cruiser, along with the remaining former-Maitland Navy scouts, defending the colony from opportunistic raiders seeking to take advantage of the Alliance's disarray. A lone Reaper warship later destroyed the cruiser and one scout, but the activation of the Crucible prevented the anticipated ground invasion.
Following the war, anti-Alliance sentiment again rose, when the reactivation of the relays brought Maitland under SATAE jurisdiction. During the relay blackout the colony had suffered a severe famine, and while Alliance aid at the time was impossible, there remained significant resentment at SATAE demands on Maitland's resources after the colony had weathered its own crisis.
The case of Maitland was used as precedent when Clan Juntak of the krogan sought to have their planetoid admitted to the Systems Alliance in 2193.
The Maitland treaty and its repercussions were reported in the following Cerberus Daily News updates:
- Terminus colony Maitland joins the Systems Alliance
- Maitland flagship fails to dock on schedule
- Former Maitland flagship attacks Systems Alliance forces
- Maitland's renegade flagship issues anti-Alliance statement
- Former Maitland flagship cripples Alliance supply vessel
- MCS Coromandel reinforced by rebel vessels
- Maitland conflict ends with violent resolution
- The image of Maitland's capital is from Star Trek: Voyager, where it represented a Quarren city.
- Maitland and its neighbours are named after stops on the Australian Hunter Valley train line.