even though parts of my story are again needing to be changed, it seems that for the most part, connecting KRML with Word of Blake would be....
**from page 28**
WAR STRIKES MERCENARIES!
MERCENARIES TARGETED BY COMRADES IN OPENING
(5 April 3068)
Galatea [DBC] —The past several months have seen some spectacular victories and defeats for numerous mercenary units across the known universe. But unlike days past, where mercenary
forces typically fought against the military might of a Great House or some other major power, today mercenaries are fi ghting one another with only one goal in mind—total destruction. To call this uncommon is an understatement. Throughout modern human history, the soldier of fortune has occupied a necessary,if often misunderstood and disliked, role. In general adhering to a strict code of honor, the mercenary supplements a nation’s
armed forces with the same level of loyalty as that nation’s own troops, or fights as a proxy in a war that regular soldiers cannot fight, or provides security to private individuals who need it. The common man, however, has a far different view of the mercenary soldier. Average people see a mercenary as loyal only to the paycheck, someone who will gladly break his word if it means more money. Sadly, a very few mercenaries throughout history have indeed betrayed the principles and ideals of their calling, and thereby given rise to this ugly stereotype. Then this most recent crisis struck, dragging the entire Inner Sphere into yet another self-destructive war. Except this one bears little resemblance to the massive wars of succession and rebellion fought since humanity’s journey to the stars. Many hoped the end of the FedCom Civil War would usher in a new era of respect for the mercenary. Already a signifi cant force in interstellar politics, especially after so many mercenary units played such a pivotal role in that conflict, a number of high-profile units banded together to blunt the expansion of the Word of Blake in the Chaos March. Given the Word of Blake’s response to that alliance, many believe the mercenaries of the Allied Mercenary Command effectively contributed to the start of this new war. In September of 3067, following the deaths of several ranking members, the Northwind Highlanders abruptly terminated all their contracts with the Draconis Combine and returned to their homeworld, ostensibly to grieve. Taken alone, this event—though unusual—was not significant, but many believe it may have been
the first in a series of unfortunate occurrences. In October, a second and more dramatic incident erupted not far away on Outreach, the home of the Mercenary Review and Bonding Commission as well as Wolf’s Dragoons. As ever, many transient mercenaries and mercenary units were on the world, awaiting employment. A group of these supposedly unemployed units, many now known or believed to have been under direct or indirect contract with the Word of Blake, launched an unprovoked surprise assault on the Dragoons and any units that came to their aid, devastating the city of Harlech and causing incalculable damage and loss of life before falling prey to the Dragoons’ fury.
With the December attacks on Tharkad and New Avalon, many now consider the Outreach assault as the first move in the Word of Blake’s “holy war” against much of the Inner Sphere, a war in which mercenaries are playing a much larger role than anyone could ever have imagined. Within months of the first Outreach attack, a series of deadly maneuvers saw the Word of Blake return to scour the planet with WarShips and strategic weapons after a Dragoons task force, dispatched to strike at Terra, went missing and was proclaimed destroyed over Mars. Those tragedies were just the beginning. The Word of Blake has apparently directed its assault against all of humanity, supposedly to punish humankind for the dissolution of the second Star League. Many mercenaries now fight on the Blakist side, whether because the Blakists bought their services or because they are
simply taking advantage of the chaos of the war. Worse still, some units, like the Northwind Highlanders—which in the past vocally opposed the Blakists—have gone silent, refusing to take part in counterstrikes against Blake’s followers.
Though many mercenaries are fi ghting against the Blakists, the damage by those often believed to have precipitated this conflict has already been done. Many who once praised mercenary commands for defending them now call for their destruction.
Takashi Kurita’s infamous “Death to Mercenaries” order has found renewed echoes, not just in the Combine but elsewhere across the Inner Sphere. As chaos spreads and nations self-destruct amid the
fi res consuming their capitals, the tragedy deepens. How or when this war will end, or how many will survive, no one knows. It is all too clear, however, that there will be no winners.
Worse still, it seems the society of professional warriors who honorably stood guard over the Inner Sphere for centuries has become the first casualty of this conflict. With DBC news on Galatea, I’m Angelica Rabin.