The rise and fall and rise of a mercenary command

Taken from Mercenary Business for Beginners, 3130 edition; Galatea Free Press.


The high rate of failure of mercenary commands is well known and has been extensively discussed. The Jihad served to be, in many ways, the ultimate leveller of the trade, with only one in five commands surviving that conflict. The subsequent years of the Republic-enforced peace only served to further starve the trade, driving more commands out of business while making it harder for newer commands to start.


And yet, throughout the history of the mercenary trade, there have been those commands that have fallen and yet managed to drag themselves back from the drink. These cases are rare, enough to make those instances where such occurs to be exceptional each time. Unlike a Successor State regiment where a fallen command’s name and colours may be resurrected by the state for any number of reasons, resurrecting a mercenary unit often comes down to an individual with some strong investment in the unit.


A good example of the multiple lives of a mercenary command comes from McKinnon’s Marauders. A family-run unit dating formed during the late Third Succession War, the Marauders were nearly destroyed during the Clan Invasion. Not only were they facing off against superior forces, but the unit was also effectively abandoned to its fate by their employer, a Combine noble. Only a handful of members survived, most notably Stuart and David McKinnon, two scions of the unit’s founding family.


Dragging what was left of the shattered command to Solaris VII, the McKinnons managed to recruit new members from the game world and rebuild some measure of their strength. Registering with the fledgling MRBC on Outreach, the command would continue to grow over the next decade, riding the back of the mercenary boom of the 3050s. The unit survived the Jihad, even through severe losses, and managed to rebuild by absorbing other shattered commands.


A falling out between different branches of the family lead to Jason McKinnon taking command of the unit in the early 32nd century, while his cousin Richard pursued his career elsewhere. Jason would remain in command of the unit until 3115, when it was functionally destroyed by Combine forces fighting in the Draconis Reach. Jason’s son, Connor, was one of the few survivors of the unit. However, given his youth and lack of experience, and no financial reserves to fall back on, he was unable to rebuild the command. The Marauders were stricken from the MRBC roster, ending their career.


This would not be the end for McKinnon’s Marauders, however. In 3127, Thomas McKinnon, Richard’s son, took command of the failing Black Thunder Battalion. After an extensive restructuring, he re-launched the command as the new McKinnon’s Marauders, effectively a continuation of the old command without the baggage that it had accumulated. The MRBC formally approved the move, effectively making Thomas McKinnon the legitimate heir to the family command.


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