This is a work of fiction created for the Twilight 2000 Role Playing Game. Original material © Dave Ross

The Mercenary

"I'm a soldier of fortune, I'm a dog of war
And we don't give a damn who the killing is for "


"Ride Across The River", Dire Straits


Dan Fielding

Born in Liverpool in 1972, Dan Fielding grew up in the family home not far from Liverpool Football Club's home at Anfield Road. Leaving school at sixteen with no qualifications, Dan worked in a number of casual jobs until he got a place on a YTS [note 1] scheme as a plumber's apprentice in 1987. In 1990 he decided to join the Territorial Army, thinking that the extra money would come in handy and it might be a bit of a laugh. At the start of 1995 Dan had recently split with his girlfriend and still lived at home with his mam and dad and brothers and sisters. He was working as a fully qualified plumber and was a newly promoted Lance Corporal in the 5th / 8th Battalion, the King's Regiment (5/8 KINGS). His free weekends were spent following his beloved Liverpool FC and getting drunk and chasing girls with his mates.  

5/8 KINGS was first mobilised in the summer of 1995 when the Sino Soviet War started. Tasked with a home defence role, the Battalion spent several weeks standing guard at key strategic locations throughout the region - Dan's Platoon was based at Manchester International Airport - until the TA was stood down and the troops returned to their civilian lives and jobs and the situation in Europe soon returned to normal although War still raged in China. That would change in October 1996 when the Bundeswehr crossed the inner German border into the East. Dan kissed his mam goodbye in the early hours of Wednesday the 09th of October and got on a bus that took him to the barracks. This time the alert would not be over so quickly.


5/8 KINGS spent the opening months of the War carrying out internal security duties in the North West of England, a task that consisted mainly of guarding against potential attack from Soviet saboteurs or special forces, attacks which never came. Dan was promoted to Corporal in 1997. When the nukes started flying in Europe the troops started to get more training on public order. One of Dan's squad swore that he saw hundreds of body bags being delivered to the barracks. Then the bombs fell on the UK.

  

In early December 1997 5/8 KINGS was deployed to the Manchester area. The City had not been the target of a Soviet nuclear strike, but was suffering from serious disorder as rioting mobs fought with the authorities and each other over control of food, water, and other supplies. As the Regional Government implemented a dusk to dawn curfew Dan and his mates found themselves confronting the mobs with orders to shoot to kill if necessary. A peace returned to the City, but it was an uneasy one, one enforced only by military patrols, by the threat of deadly force. The Battalion took under command all manner of reinforcements, airmen and women from the RAF, Army cadets, civilian police officers, even traffic wardens. As well as maintaining order they distributed aid to the City's population, although supplies became harder to come by as each week passed. Tented cities sprung up outside the barracks.


Then the second wave of nuclear strikes came. This time the North West was hit hard. 5/8 KINGS suffered horrendous casualties. Dan was lucky. He survived the strikes, survived the fall out that followed. But the Battalion had effectively ceased to exist. Some of the survivors decided to make for Catterick, others just took off on their own, either individually or in small groups. Dan took a Land Rover with a couple of his mates, Pete and Mark. The northwest was in chaos; they spent a couple of weeks on the road. When they ran out of diesel they "acquired" more from civilians. The first time they paid for it with army rations. The second time they just took it.  They knew that some places had declared themselves Free Cities. They ended up in one of those Free Cities.


Mark decided to go his own way, but Dan and Pete have stayed together, linked up with some other deserters. There's seven of them now, and as well as the Land Rover they have a Toyota Hilux which has an L7A2 General Purpose Machine gun fitted to an improvised weapons mount fixed to its cargo bed. Both the Land Rover and the Hilux are still running on diesel, which is available on the black market. They're a mixed group, with a range of experience, and Dan has found himself in charge. They make a living selling their services to merchant convoys travelling between the Free Cities, offering security in exchange for food and barter goods. The group's make up changes from time to time; some have left, others have been recruited, and the opportunity exists for individuals or small groups to join them. They're fairly easy to run into - when they're in the City they spend a lot of time in its various bars, and some of the group are also regulars in the brothels. Dan takes care of the business side, dealing with the merchants to get work, organising payment, which usually takes the form of barter goods, split roughly 50 / 50 between booze, cigarettes, chocolate, toilet paper and similar "luxury" items and items with a cash value such as jewellery, watches, gold coins etc, and each of them has their own small cache of valuable items.


The group all wear British Army DPM uniforms and standard equipment, including helmets and various items of body armour, although they will usually only wear these outside the City. They are well armed, and reasonably well equipped, with a good supply of 5.56N and 7.62N ammunition as well as some hand grenades and two M72 LAW single shot rocket launchers.



Stats


The Mercenary can be encountered in any of England's Free Cities and there is the opportunity for any military personnel seeking employment to be recruited into the group. Fielding can also serve as a means to meet other people in the Free City, notably merchants and bar owners, who he is on friendly terms with. Outside the Cities, the group can be encountered working as escorts to merchant convoys.  Weapons shown below are what the group will be carrying outside the City; inside the City they may only have sidearms or melee weapons dependent on circumstances.


Dan Fielding aka Scouse [2}

30 years old, Veteran NPC

L85A1 Assault Rifle, M72 LAW Rocket Launcher, L9A1 pistol, Bayonet


Pete

27 years old, Veteran NPC

L85A1 Assault Rifle, M72 LAW Rocket Launcher, Bayonet


Pete and Dan were mates before the War and have stuck together following the breakup of their Battalion. Dan trusts Pete and depends on him. Pete has settled down with a woman called Tanya in the City though, a barmaid at one of the pubs the group drinks in and Tanya would prefer it if Pete didn't travel outside the City, worked instead for one of the City's strongmen. Pete has had a few runs ins with one of the regulars in the pub recently after he thought - correctly - that the bloke was hitting on Tanya.


Dougie

22 years old, Experienced NPC

L4A4 Bren Gun, L9A1 Pistol, 2 x L2A2 HE Hand Grenades, Combat Knife


Dougie's a Glaswegian. He's only five feet eight inches tall but he's hard as nails and handy with his fists. He's Regular Army, joined up in 97 and was doing his basic training at Catterick when the nukes started flying and he was assigned to a provisional unit. His unit fell apart after the second wave of nukes hit in 98 and he struck out on his own. Being a Regular, he likes to tease Dan and Pete about them both being STAB's [3}, but it's all good natured, and they know that he's got their back. When he's in the City he spends most of his time drunk or whoring, and has an impressive stash of pre war porn.


Mikey aka "Crab" [4}

23 years old, Experienced NPC

L1A1 Self Loading Rifle, Swiss Army Knife, Combat knife


Mikey claims to be ex RAF Regiment but in reality was an aircraftsman at a base in Lincolnshire, where he worked as a technician on the Tornado until he was transferred to a provisional RAF Regiment Squadron after air operations were wound down at the start of 98. He knows enough about the RAF Regiment to bluff it with the Army blokes, but he'd be in bother if he met any proper RAF Regiment types. He thinks he's a bit of a Rambo and likes to have all the ally [5} gear, and also thinks he could do a better job of running things than Dan, but he knows that Pete and Dougie would back Dan. So for now he's biding his time, waiting for the right moment. He's also got a thing for Steph but she's not interested, so Mikey thinks that means she must be a bit of a dyke. He reckons if he ever managed to get alone with her she'd change her mind about him. Whether she likes it or not.


Steph

25 years old, Experienced NPC

L1A1 Self Loading Rifle, Glock 17 pistol, ASP Telescopic Baton


Steph joined up with the group in 99. She was a copper before it all went tits up, and has done all the advanced driver courses so she's pretty useful behind the wheel. She still carries her police issue baton and she's pretty handy with that as well. She also looks good. She and Dougie almost got it together one night when they were both really drunk, but it didn't quite happen. She knows Crab has a thing for her, but she isn't interested, and besides there's something about him that just doesn't feel right. Call it a copper's instincts....


Joe

22 years old, Experienced NPC

L85A1 Assault Rifle, Bayonet


Joe was persuaded to join the UOTC [6} in 96 by his then girlfriend (who was already a member) when he was studying History at the University of Bristol. When the brown stuff hit the fan at the end of 96 he found himself called up for full time duty with the TA as a private. He hadn't really bargained on that when he joined up, and when things fell apart in 98 Joe didn't hang around, he was off. He's a clever bloke, knows a lot of stuff, some of which is useful, some of which isn't, but he has a habit of being a bit of a smart arse sometimes, talking first and thinking later, which has got him into bother a few times. Joe would happily jump ship if he could find a way of making a living that didn't involve the risk of someone shooting at him.


Kev

35 years old, Experienced NPC

L1A1 Self Loading Rifle, Bayonet


Kev did seven years as a Regular in the Royal Corps of Transport from 84 to 91, following which he got a job with as a driver with a delivery company. He joined the Home Service Force in 96 and was mobilised at the end of the year. He's only been with the group for a couple of months and doesn't say much, keeping himself to himself.


Vehicles

1 x Land Rover (standard military LWB version)

1 x Toyota Hilux SUV



Twists and Turns


Any or all of the following can be used at the GM's discretion


Mikey is planning to take over control of the group by seeing to it that Dan, Pete, and Dougie are taken out of the equation.

To achieve this he will be keen to recruit allies and / or betray the group to enemies.


Joe's on the payroll of one of the strong men that run the City. He makes money by selling the strongman information about the merchant convoys the group  are being hired to protect.


Pete's relationship with Tanya has made him an enemy - the man he had a run in with and a few of his mates are planning to ambush him when he is alone.


Kev isn't who he says he is. He is an ex Sergeant in Regular Army Infantry Battalion (Elite NPC) who deserted in 97 and joined a vicious marauder group operating about thirty miles away. The marauders were attacked by another group who killed most of them. Kev was the only survivor. He wants revenge and he's going to manipulate these muppets that he has linked up with to get it. Once that's done and they've outlived their usefulness he'll kill them all - he'll take his time with the copper bitch, leave her until last, have some fun with her - and then fuck off with their gear (if this option is used either Mikey or Joe - or possibly both of them - may attempt to side with Kev to save their own lives).



Notes


1. YTS - Youth Training Scheme, a Government run training scheme for 17 - 17 year olds


2. A nickname for someone from the City of Liverpool


3. STAB - Stupid Territorial Army Bastard, slang term used by Regular Army personnel to refer to Territorials


4. Crab - Slang term used by Army personnel to refer to RAF personnel


5. Ally - British Army term to refer to a piece of equipment that is deemed to be particularly stylish or smart


6. University Officers' Training Corps - a military programme which is part of the Territorial Army and provides military leadership training to students at British Universities. Students enrolling in the programme have no obligation to enter the Army upon completion.