Smash and Grab
The group took on a seemingly “too good to be true” contract that paid 6 million C-Bills for one month’s on-planet work. Eager for the big payday, M.E.R.C.S. took off in late August for Vosloorus. They arrived on-planet with no incident. Their job was to capture and secure some stolen ComStar merchandise, which was stolen and squirreled away in a factory near the city of Otravisk. At least one other unit was on the planet looking for the same material, so time was pressing.
As they approached the factory, the thieves who stole the swag had laid carefully prepared ambushes. The unit’s Wolverine was nearly reduced to scrap but survived only by pure luck. The SturmFeuer was almost immobilized, but it also survived. Having taken the thieves’ best shots, the unit began to gain the upper hand. During the fighting, the unit’s Warrior, which was acting as a roving scout, noted five heavy and assault ’Mechs approaching the factory. One of them was a gaudily painted Marauder of unknown variant. It was bright green and covered with silver C-Bill markings.
This was obviously the other group on-planet looking for the stolen swag. Fortunately for M.E.R.C.S., this group began looking in the wrong place in the factory. Seeing what was quickly becoming a VERY bad situation, and after being informed that ANOTHER force was approaching the conflict (this one a patrol from Volsloorus’s ruling oligarchy), Miranda surprisingly offered quarter to the thieves. She said, “bug out, keep your ‘Mechs, and we’ll spot you 100 large.” The thieves’ commander, who was surrounded at the time, thought about it for a moment and decided to cut his losses.
By this time, Miranda recognized the leader of the augmented lance of heavies. It was her old nemesis, known only as The Bounty Hunter. As he and his compatriots finished blowing through the building they were searching, the oligarch’s force arrived on the map, sporting policeman’s colors. They ordered everyone to stand down. The Bounty Hunter, seeing an impossible situation, withdrew without complaint, but not before completely wasting the stricken building with a wash of three PPCs. For good measure, he used two rear-facing medium lasers to blow apart the last wall as he withdrew.
The unit had wisely brought along a ComStar liaison, who successfully negotiated with the cops, who seemed unaware of the swag in one of the other buildings. By skillful use of negotiation, bribery, and timing, Miranda was able to complete the mission without a loss, which was astounding, considering the situation and how it could have degenerated into a no-holds-barred free-for-all very easily.