Merc Rule 49

Written by J. D. Wiley --- Art by J. D. Wiley

Merc Rule 49: The road to hell is paved with politicians. And mimes.

Longhorn and Bixby are the local flavors of politician. Longhorn is the Mayor of Three Hub. Helps that he’s the munitions supplier for the FIST military. His wife Bixby comes from a long line of bankers. Makes ’em quite the power couple. That means there’s little they can’t do if they set their minds to it. And even less anyone can do about it should the couple decide to really apply themselves.

They keep the military under their thumbs with resources, although General Gammon would never admit it. Manufacturing everything from mechs and machine guns to mines. Longhorn and Bixby also play favorites with the local goings on. Siding with the Kabukimono in local affairs means buying up their androids and cutting the little man out of honest work. Everyone has a price, and Longhorn and Bixby stand with the highest bidder. Love ’em or hate, it’s what we’re stuck with.

They ain’t the only corrupt politicians across the Red Frontier. Or the worst.

Atlantic de Mer has the Vanities. An entire elitist class ruling over everything. Might as well be local royalty. All those hoity-toity bastards care about are masquerades, orgies, and drugs. Everyone else around is a little too preoccupied trying to live to stop ’em. That and the Vanities have spies everywhere.

The closest thing Heliopolis Vault has to politicians are the Regulators. Like self-appointed judges, sheriffs, and deputies. They might put on a good show, but I can tell you right now they ain’t angels. Half of ’em are corrupt. Looking the other way, or outright selling their services to the highest bidder. Such is the way of things in the Vault. It’s a mean way to live, but you can’t get anything done without ’em.

In Babylon, it’s Amir bin Serafi, president of Infinitech. CEO and unofficial King of Babylon. The three Kabukimono families squabble for their place in the hierarchy, but nothing happens without Serafi. His company and their financial power span the length of the continent.

The Alexandrians have a presence in every major metropolis. Those old boys like to take a hand in keeping the peace. Building infrastructure, and making sure everything runs smoothly. But they ain’t politicians. Fortunately for them. Their souls ain’t in danger of damnation.

But every area has its leaders, thirsty for money and power, only interested in asserting their will on the smaller man. Bastards are the same everywhere, and they’ll get theirs in the end. The only thing we all agree on is that the Dominus Magna and their senators are worst of shitbags of all. Despite all the differences, the whole Red Frontier would unite to stop ’em. If it every came to it. Hopefully, for everyone involved, it never does.

About now you might be wondering, what about mimes? How can they possibly compare the corruption of politicians?

They’re damn creepy, that’s what. End of story.

-Coyote Joe, Memoirs of a Merc

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