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MERC CORP: The Retrieval

Shriekka woke Alan up at 3:30. Sound alarm was set to ring at night in two situations only: either a mission lucrative enough to pull an all-nighter or a viable opportunity for revenge on past enemies. Since search algorithms that he programmed himself decided to wake him with a shriekka, there was nothing left to do but summon a holo of the mission straight to his optic nerves.

Emperor Justod I

As usual, they assembled in the throne room. It was a team of the best scientists working in many fields. Doctors, geneticists, cyberneticists, nanotechnologists, and numerous specialists of a few fields that have not yet been officially named. They all had a single common task: making emperor Justod I immortal. No matter what. Money, ethics, faith or morality were irrelevant. The emperor wished for an eternal life and he shall get it.

It's not hard to be a god

- Fuuuuuuuuck! The rear shield is gone! - Anton Podarsky sounded rather panicked, not at all like the voice of a first officer reporting damages.

- Helm to port side! Jettison all cargo holds! - Pablo Krazian, the captain of Bolthead IV-class pirate corvette, knew there was no chance he could get away from the destroyer that was sitting on his tail. It was a warship from the customs fleet of the Kingdom of the Sacred Tree of Life. But Pablo was only human. He was delaying the inevitable for as long as it was possible.

Empress Aina - an ordinary day

As usual, she woke up in full awareness a little after six in the morning. Her brain almost never needed a long start-up as opposed to her body. She liked to think that her stomach and intestines preferred to sleep in. She sat up on her bed and grabbed a mobile holo with reports from last night.

What is in us that hurts us

Sentenence had several limitations she decided to get rid of. She had programs she deemed unnecessary in her current state. At the same time, she wasn’t convinced whether it was worth deleting them definitely as they had been useful during a certain period of her “life”. But she didn’t want to dispose of them forever, she rather planned on sectioning them off in a controlled way.

Analog

Ionner didn’t think long before he initiated the docking procedure. The screens of his agile frigate "Forager 002A-IV” showed residual electromagnetic activity on the wreck of CA-401 cruiser "Broderick”. It was probably coming from emergency devices maintaining power supply. Its engines and launchers have been disassembled from the hull. Disassembled, not destroyed. It looked like the Empire of The Third Sun abandoned one of heir military ships. Maybe there was nothing left on it that was valuable to the disassembly team but Ionner was sure that he was going to find some useful junk. The army of the Empire of the Third Sun has never been very thorough when it came to clearing their units. After withdrawing a unit from liner service they usually removed the engines, power system and of course armament. They didn’t like to waste time on gutting and retrieving minor electronic devices and the crew’s equipment. "Broderick'' looked like fresh meat so Ionner had a chance to be the first Scavenger on it.

Routine task

- Pest exited this way - the keeper pointed to a hole in the warehouse floor.

Semper Saganis and Torrento Enoeshi looked in that direction. Semper’s AlterBot scratched its chin. Luckily, the safety on kinetic launchers fitted in the forearms of the armor was on, otherwise he would have probably lost his head.

Just an hour ago everything was looking good. It was supposed to be a routine task. Easy job. Fucking standard mission.

Aina Elevated

The invitations to the Great Elevation have been sent. Wienner Brunshwarz personally ensured that they were delivered to the chosen ones. Twenty silver and ten gold invitations were read out in the utmost secrecy and the receipt was signed. A mere formality.

Prison break

The corridor between an underground landing pad of a secret imperial lab and the main entrance lock was narrow. It was just the two of them standing shoulder to shoulder because no one else would simply fit in there. Especially not wearing a full pressure armor suit. Back at the space shuttle landing pad they’d already seen what happened to those, who didn’t put on airtight suits. Praise Corporal Zalzenka who told them to wear their space combat armor before getting off their UAS6 NightBurn shuttle.

Low-end goods

“I have only 148 kilos but I need the Substance now,” the woman panted on one breath and threw her ID in a pass-through tray.

Patrik's Tale

The only thing the Orbital Deer has in common with its name is the fact that it literally sends a person into orbit. Patrik was sitting in a bar called Levy’s Fiery Fuel. In front of him, there were already three empty bottles of this not very noble liquor. A young couple with metal neon-glowing mohawks, who were buying him rounds looked so gullible. Easy game times two, fuck yes.

Wake Up

It was not a slow wake-up. It was rather like a kick in the solar plexus. I momentarily opened my eyes. Pink sun blinded me for a fraction of a second.

Are you familiar with the nasty insects from Barbetus? That thing that was gliding towards me looked like them but was ten times bigger. The monster’s maw rotated 180 degrees. I think it only noticed me when I moved. I automatically lifted my hands.

The World of Merc Corp is a faraway universe. It is distant in time and space from out world. Light years of cosmic space as well as thousands of years of history, hills and valleys of humankind lay between those two worlds.

The World of Merc Corp is not a technological utopia despite the fact that, in that world, in many fields the technology is far more advanced than anything we know today.

In the World of Merc Corp people are not very different. They still follow their egoistic needs, desires, fantasies and made-up goals. They fight with each other for such absurd reasons, at least from the point of view of society, that an outsider might get an impression that the entire humankind is just a degenerate race seized by insanity. Insanity which is so terrifying at times that it is hard to believe that this race has survived tens of thousands of years and was capable of forsaking their home planet. 

And yet, in the World of Merc Corp, humans, sometimes against logic, had not only gone into space, evacuated the Earth that they had destroyed, left the Solar System but also after finding a new place to live, prompted by ever smoldering animosity, destroyed it as well.

Yet again, they set off into space to find their purpose. Divided against each other they started looking for another place that could become their new home. They split up into many groups and drifted apart. They kept making the same mistakes and almost caused the obliteration of their entire race. However, as it usually happens, they eventually managed to get back on their feet and continued this cursed cycle of falling and rising.

Before you dive into the fascinating World of Merc Corp we will first introduce you to it using a series of short stories. These are stories of people, who live in this world right now as well as stories that had happened in the past and had a significant impact on the present time.

Try to delve into the World of Merc Corps with us. 

We wish you enjoyable reading.