Not All It’s Cracked Up To Be
(30 August 3049)
There are heroic days, gents. We don’t all have the resources or luck to be Wolf’s Dragoons or the Kell Hounds or the Blue Star Irregulars. What with their heroic stands that “break them”; not trying to bust their chops or rub their noses in their losses, but for the rest of us, if that happened we’d cease to exist. Despite that gulf separating us from the biggest of the big boys, we—the grist that keeps the merc world moving—can still have our 15 minutes o’ fame.
But most of the time, it’s a grind. And in that grind, some contracts are worse than others. And at the end of those, when your soul is broker than your bank account and your body has as many dings as the armor scraps holding your ’Mechs together, you start to wonder: what in Blake’s name are ya doin’ this for?
What about that garden world, and the cushy job and the 1.2 brats…not so bad, right?
Then ya take a look around and see what others are doin’ with their free time. “League” recreationists getting into riots; the Lama something-or-other trying to create an interstellar horse derby; the Taurians and their fanaticism for their Concordat Games: are you kiddin’ me? People sure do seem to waste the free time those cushy jobs give them on different grades of steamy piles.
Not me, gents. I’ll take the grind of the merc life any day of any calendar week across all two-thousand-plus worlds of the Inner Sphere. ‘Cause every merc force worth its salt is a family. We’re there backing each other, making our lives better. What’s more, despite those grinds that can break the soul, we get those days…just a precious few here and there…but days when the white-hot spotlight of an A-class star shines down…and we’ve managed to make a difference. The universe is a better place for the good fight and the blood we’ve spilt.
Remember that the next time you’re Dispossessed, trading your last salvage for fuel to make it one more kilometer, and you’ve laid a friend into a cold grave on a forgotten world….
Keep it locked and loaded, gents.
—Jacob Hardenson, MercNet