Aside from the glamor and glitz in the holographic movies, a mercenary’s life is not as inviting as many might have imagined. Unlike soldiers who at least died knowing they fought for their countries, ideals, or family’s; a mercenary pushed forward for nothing but money. Rightfully so; the men of such a profession were often vilified by society for their almost casual disdain for the sanctity of life.
How long could you trust the man next to you who fought for money? At least if you fought for ideals, the man beside you could be counted on to at least want the same thing as you (whether it was the liberation of your h5. Your title here…home world or the defense of a common way of life); but here?
Within the cramped cabin of the “In your face” (a name that Dicer, the mad drop ship pilot felt most appropriate to his personal hunk of junk); the five men sized one another up. Everyone present had been in at least one situation where the men next to them eventually became the men down their sights. The only thing that had kept everyone alive through such double crosses, was a keen sense of paranoia and very quick trigger fingers.
The air in the cabin of the drop ship was quiet, save the howl of the engines as the ship plunged out of hyperspace. The planet Komsta Prime lay just beyond the view screen, swirling in bright orange and red; a steady reminder to its constant whirlwinds and energy storms.
Once a peaceful mining colony, Komsta was a separatist planet which came under heavy republic assault. Although the planet was eventually captured, lots of civilians were killed in the process resulting in a certain amount of animosity for the Republic’s (and invariably, the galactic empire).
With word of the galactic civil war beginning to move forward, Komsta joins a growing league of planets that is on the verge of throwing in their lot with the rebellion. While other planets have been bombed to cinders for the mere mention of such things; the Empire is not blind to the effect of martyrdom and has decided to take a different approach with Komsta.
The cover story is that the local government has lost control of the planet due to rebel terrorist acts and they have contracted the services of Shattered Sun Incorporated; the largest private military corporation in the sector to help restore order. This solution will help to reduce the chance of any perceived martyrdom towards the rebel’s cause, as well as helping to prove that the problem is not as big as others may suspect (something they may well conclude should the Imperial grand army mobilize).
Anticipating harsh opposition which could easily stretch out into weeks of conflict; Shattered Sun has subcontracted the use of specialized teams to move in advance of their invasion to disable/ capture key strategic targets. By seizing up their key infrastructure functions (such as power, communications, and transportation), Shattered Sun hopes to bring a swift (and perhaps more importantly; cost effective) resolution to the current operation. That’s where these five men come from; all of whom were personally picked by J. Cabot; one such subcontractor who had been hired to ensure planet wide communications were seized.
The idea of arresting an entire planet’s communication grid may seem outlandish without the usage of ships and thousands of soldiers and techs, but Komsta’s constant energy storms have forced the entire planet to centralize all their communications through the use of signal towers.
While seizing the main communication network may have been incredibly difficult (especially without the reinforcements from the main invasion), the planet’s decision to unify the entire network meant that an intrusion at any one access point could potentially mean seizing everything.
As such; the mercenaries had the very simple task of securing a single weather monitoring station; hopelessly isolated and with minimal crew and security. Upon seizing it (preferably without an alarm going of); they only needed to upload a security program that would quietly build a programming backdoor into the network to allow complete and utter control to a single hub.
If they did their jobs right; the mercenaries could look forward to some very impressive payments for a decidedly simple babysitting job.
“Two minutes to drop men… We’re going dark” shouted Dicer as the ship’s luminescent lighting turned to emergency red. The engines that howled loudly through the cabin suddenly went quiet as the ship rocked and bucked through the atmosphere.
“Looks like we’re about to hit some turbulence… Everyone strap in; could be bumpy” muttered Dicer as the ship took a hard shake to the right causing everyone’s stomach to enter their throats. Usually such storms could be easily navigated by way of planet based weather networks and the use of the ship’s engines; but when trying a covert drop where even the slightest tap of the main engines could light up a sensor network…
“I think I have it… I think I have it…” began muttering Dicer only to have another atmospheric front slam into the cabin like a force of nature. Suddenly the once steady red lighting began flashing rapidly as emergency klaxons began to sound.
“… Totally don’t have it. I’ll likely crash and kill us all…” joked Dicer as he wrenched the ship from one side to the another, using little but its maneuvering flaps to cross the violent air currents.
The ship continued to rock from side to side, warnings blaring indicating that their descent vector was too steep and that they were losing various parts of the starboard engine.
Throughout this chaos however, the mercenaries knew better than to panic. There were thirty seconds to drop and that meant it was time to ready themselves for the jump.
The skies outside went from black and dark to brown stretches of open desert. The sun was beginning to set, turning the clouds into a faint shade of orange as the drop ship scooted into a patch of open air above an endless desert.
“Fifteen seconds to the LZ… Get ready for an immediate stop in 3…2…1… Mark!” shouted Dicer, who as promised brought the ship to an almost dead stop with a hard tap of the maneuvering thrusters. The universe slammed into an invisible wall and the lighting in the cabin went from red to green as the doors locked into an open position. The air outside was cool and faintly sweet as it rolled into the cabin with a nearly concussive force from the sharp deceleration.
Wordlessly, the mercenaries were free of their harnesses and racing out the side doors and down the ropes onto the desert below. The desert sand, while soft and slippery was a welcome change to being helplessly strapped into a rolling metal coffin with a lunatic for a pilot.
“We’re all clear here! Move it Dicer” shouted one of the mercenaries into the short range comlink. Not one who needed to be told twice, Dicer pushed the ship’s engines to life again and began to rocket away into the night sky. It wasn’t long until the familiar screech of the engine’s faded into nothing, only to be replaced by the softest chirping of distant animals.
The mercenaries quickly pat themselves down to ensure everything is with them; and once satisfied that everyone is good to go; they begin their trek across the cooling sandy desert towards their first objective…