(23 August 3049)
“A kinder, gentler snake.” By Holy Blake himself, that’s the quote straight from a…nah, don’t wanna burn that bridge. We’ll say a merc friend recently in the employ of the FedCom in their Draconis March.
And who was my backwards friend talking about? The snakes on their bellies getting smacked by the Good Word all through existence? Nope, we’re talking Dracs, gents. More arrogant than a holy man, ruthless as a starving man in the night, and bound to their honor more tightly than an addict to his hit…that’s right, them Dracs. Snakes.
Ever since ol’ First Prince Hanse failed to give the Draconis Combine the knock-out blow in the War o’ 3039, I’ve felt a…disturbance in the usual order of business. Something out of whack. And it’s not been helped by the rise of Theodore Kurita. Finally stepping beyond that long, black-as-your-soul shadow cast by the meanest samurai of the last quarter millennia, Takashi. Theodore’s actually, you know, sane. Thinks on his feet. Is willing to bend with the wind, knowing his honor’s his own to lose.
That’s what allowed him to give the FedCom the smack-down of a lifetime. But it’s a bag of lies. It’s left people thinkin’ the Pillar of Iron might be a little more malleable now. Softer, if ya will.
But don’t buy it, gents. No matter how many courtesans are fluffing the pillows. Just take a gander at the newsfeeds sneaking across the border. New Samarkand Metals just axed an employee trying to steal their oh-so-precious Tempered Samarkite alloy formula. And I’m not talking the pink slip. No trial, no nothing. Caught in the act, so buried in the ground before his blood congealed.
And don’t any merc go forgettin’ the Death to Mercenaries order handed out by that son-of-an-asp Takashi during the Fourth War. I understand when ya gotta take a gig to put ammo in the autocannon and replace those burned-out alignment crystals. But a snake, no matter how much the FedCom wants to polish their loss or Theodore wants a new kabuki mask for his realm... is still a snake.
You’ve been warned….
Keep it locked and loaded, gents.
—Jacob Hardenson, MercNet