The Mercenary

Nobody ever credited a mercenary for having a heart of gold, and Rundoon--Run for short--never gave them any reason to. So if a few missing assets helped repair collateral damage, or build a school, or feed a starving family, nobody asked questions, and Run never took the credit for such deeds. Still, existing in the gray area of the law didn’t always go as planned. Sometimes a job was more than a job, and sometimes you had to have hard limits on what you were willing to do for money. Run got an offer to run point on an escort mission on a classified R&D project run by GSP Genetics. Materials looted from New Eden were hotly sought on the black market, and if one had the means and the strength to withstand any repercussions, such items could be theirs for a price. Run never asked questions, but when New Eden sent its Champion to deal with the team and retrieve its stolen tech, Run decided it was time to reevaluate his contract.

The champion, named Imperion, destroyed his convoy and after a fierce firefight, managed to escape, but she kept his right arm as a souvenir--and a warning.

Disgraced by his failure, Run was surprised when Helena offered to augment his body with cybernetics instead, and decided to give him one last mission. After all, he had survived his encounter with Imperion before augmentation. She was curious to see what he could do when enhanced by Leyline-based technology.

The answer was whatever he liked.

Run’s asking price tripled in the coming months after his enhancements as corporations sought his services for their own ends. But the merc’ never did like running on someone else’s leash and he knew the tech in his body was only borrowed. People like Helena Grinspoon didn’t offer such dreams without a price. So he contacted a friend in Absalom, one who could match wits with the deadly, wealthy woman, and who could erase the security fail safes and disable the kill switches that kept him tethered to her hand. The contact was clandestine, but knew Helena better than anyone Run knew in the underworld, having been her enforcer for a time.