When rebel forces attacked the capital system of the Earth Federation in August of 2243, they were unsuccessful in gaining total space superiority or control of the orbitals over the planet of Avalon. They were thus unable to land large numbers of troops or support them with kinetic interdiction strikes or supply drops. As part of their opening attack, large numbers of troopers, including the Dead Boys led by Alistar Dimiye, were sent EVA to attack orbital defense facilities over Avalon. One large group of Dead Boys successfully seized Battlestation Achilles, and then escaped from it in shuttles just before it was in turn destroyed by Earth Fleet warships. Unable due to orbital geometry to immediately link up with the 27th Army, the main force of Rebel ground forces landed on the New African Continent, instead they landed near the capital city itself and began a campaign of sabotage and guerilla warfare.
The bulk of these sabotage operations came to be known as Operation Cancer. This was an organized and concerted attempt to destroy satellite uplink sites and communication towers which enabled Grand Fleet Admiral Kristen Vorheis in the Fleet Headquarters building on the surface to communicate effectively with her Loyalist fleet in orbit, coordinating and commanding their movements. Without this centralized control, the fighting efficiency of the fleet would be degraded, especially after the death of both Home Fleet CO Fleet Admiral Jamison and his senior squadron commander, Admiral Langley, in combat during the early stages of the battle. This operation was largely successful, partly because a group of Cyborgs created by Internal Security were conducting their own series of vengeance raids and sabotage attacks throughout the capital region, following the death of InSec commandant Rashid King during an unsuccessful coup attempt. In the climax of the attacks, Dead Boys led by Malachi Spyder attacked and destroyed the Defense Building, wiping out much of the leadership of the Loyalist Tech Infantry.
After that, however, things went downhill. Commodore Erich Von Shrakenberg managed to energize and organize the Loyalist fleet enough to beat back the Rebel fleet under Admiral Danielle Twedt, who was finally blackmailed into withdrawing by Samuel Wall as part of his own complex coup machinations. Alistar Dimiye was killed covering the escape of the rest of his unit from an ambush. Although Malachi Spyder took over and led them to successfully link up at last with the 27th Army on New Africa, he was challenged for the leadership of the unit by a fellow Brigade commander, Major Otto Wilhelm. The resulting internal divisions destroyed unit cohesion, and the original Dead Boys were mostly wiped out in a three-way shootout between rebel, loyalist, and cyborg InSec forces.