This is the story of the Warriors, a ComStar planted 'mercenary' unit

Hilton Head - Earth, March 3015, 2:30 hours: Plans within plans

Deborah stood to attention as Precentor Vandel entered the hall, alone. With a curt nod he acknowledged her bow and gestured that she should walk with him. The corridors of Hilton Head were empty, their footsteps echoing down the halls. Vandel did not speak, but his eyes were restless and aware even at this early hour. Down they went, passing three automated security stations, but still Deborah did not see anybody. This reeked of politics, of the secret workings of the First Circuit. Deborah remembered her II-epsilon rating, and decided that she should learn as little as possible: to much knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Far beneath Comstars headquarters they entered a huge hangar, empty except for a few shadowy shapes in the rear and the spotlighted hulking mass of a heavily damaged King-Crab in the middle. The huge assault mech had been cleaned up, but non of the damage had been repaired. It stood like a solemn guardian, but one who had failed in his duty.

"You remember this, I assume?" Vandel asked.

"I do Precentor Tharkad", Deborah replied, "It is the mech of the CO of the Just Revenge of 3004".

"In which one of our battalions, 36 Star League grade mechs, was nearly destroyed because it lost 28 of its units fighting 1 mech company and 2 vehicle companies... All those pirates were using current inner-sphere tech, and with no opponent heavier than 70 tons..."

"That is correct, Precentor", she had nothing else to say. Battle analysis of that fight was a standard part of mechwarrior training.

Then it hit her. She had had a heated discussion with a group of other mech pilots over what had gone wrong. Her statement that the fixed and bookish approach had cost ComStar dearly had resulted in accusations of being a pirate lover and of treason.

Treason... Yet here she was, alone with a member of the First Circuit... No Rho agent in sight... as far as she could tell.

She wondered what her penalty would be, and why the newest First Circuit member was involved.

"This should not have happened, as you and I both know." - What was he talking about? - "We are the guardians of the sacret knowledge of the blessed Star League, yet we don't know how to fight. And fight we will have to. If not now then somewhere in the future. Most of the first circuit understand this and some of us are taking actions."

"The Primus?", Deborah asked, fearing the answer and not knowing why she asked it. Didn't she know that all knowledge came with a prize.

"He told us that such a debacle should not occur again", Vandel said with a tone of finality in his voice. He pressed a button on a control pad and the light above the King-Crab went out, while simple flood lights sprang to life shining on several mechs at the back of hangar: a Grasshopper, a Wolverine, and a Spider were at the front, but the mismatched armour plates, hasty paint jobs and general aura told their story: these were inner-sphere mechs, cobbled together, serviced by the unenlightened, not the pure and perfect ComStar mechs.

"You and others I have selected will take these and become a mercenary unit. You will learn how to fight. You will learn about other mercenaries. You will regularly sent one or two of your people to Sandhurst to help train our holy warriors. You will be on standby should we ever need you, for whatever purpose the Vision of Blake dictates. May the Wisdom of Blake help you see the right path."

"The others will arrive here in ten minutes. On this datapad is your roster and the codes to leave here for Landing Pad 11. The dropship "True Destiny" will leave at 3 AM for Graham IV. Your unit already has been hired by the Free World League for an attack on Gienah. En route you will be joined by true mercenaries which are leftovers from destroyed units which were okayed by Mu. Do not trust them."

Vandel handed Deborah the datapad and walked away, leaving her alone to scan the datapad. MRB rating, backgrounds for her and the others, Rho had been busy. She approached the mechs and vehicles, but they did not look any more impressive from up close: she also saw a Dervish which seemed to have actuators from a Shadow-Hawk, a rusty Stinger and an old Locust with two new legs. This was no unit, this was a mess. A unifying paint job, unit insignia, uniforms, she started making notes on the datapad. Only later she realized that she left ComStar, her teacher and protector, behind without a second though: ... she had a unit to run.