There are moments when one part of society has enough of another part, with some of the most common being the uprisings of the working class against the ruling class. There are many reasons for this, from lack of resources, unequal treatment, or the erosion of liberties by one group upon the other. Each conflict starts because one side is pushed to the limit after a build up of smaller events. In Red Faction: Guerrilla you have the rebel group facing off against the Earth Defence Force, who rule the Martian landscape.
The backstory is that Earth’s mineral deposits have depleted to such a level that the very existence of the human race is at stake, and so Mars is being mined to keep the species going. As you can imagine this has led to a restricted society as those in charge curb freedoms to guarantee the long term survival of everyone. It probably wasn’t an easy call to make for those in charge but they have deemed it necessary. No one wants to be the one that doesn’t take action and so dooms humanity to extinction.
Of course human nature isn’t something that can be changed easily, and those on the receiving end of the life restrictions aren’t happy with it. That isn’t surprising as life under EDF is one of hardship where the miners are given only the most basic tools of survival, and that’s if they’re lucky. It’s hard to care about the long term affects on the entire species when your own life is full of frustration and suffering.
However the EDF have sworn to make sure the species survives through any means necessary, even if that means suffering in the short term. An uprising in the this scenario wouldn’t just lead to potential loss of territory, but a potential loss of everything. So when the Red Faction starts its assault against the ruling power, they’re not just seen as terrorists but also as a threat to the entire human race.
The miners aren’t the only ones that have to contend with the EDF but so do the Marauders. However, they’re largely left alone by the EDF who don’t venture into their territory of the Badlands. That is until the Red Faction turns up bringing the war to the Marauders, and in turn puts them in the prime sights of every major EDF higher up. After the battle of the Badlands the EDF draw plans to wipe out the entire population of Mars to stop the uprising.
At a point where keeping as many humans alive as possible is the key aim of the EDF, deciding to practically bomb a large portion of it out of existence is a huge decision to make. But the EDF leadership would see the rebels as a necessary sacrifice to keep the rest of the society in line until such a point that stability was restored, and would allow the return of a freer society. In fact the Red Faction’s actions are nothing but detrimental to a lot of people.
When a joint strike with the Marauders is agreed to it’s the Marauders who pay the ultimate price, and are essentially wiped out due to the response by the EDF. A proud tribe that has managed to survive on the Martian landscape all but destroyed because the Red Faction couldn’t see the long term goals. They didn’t just put humanity at risk but they also hold responsibility for helping to drive another group to extinction.
The problem with the Red Faction is that it isn’t a well structured organisation but one made up of those who have no real idea or experience on how to lead. These are people who do have legitimate quarrels but their actions have led to a rather large stand off. Even though the EDF retreat they have all the power. Mars likely relies a lot on supplies from Earth, and with those cut off the Red Faction will suffer. Plus the EDF have the advantage of a larger force to bring back to war.
The only certainty is that Mars will be getting redder.