|Author||Jason M. Hardy|
|Interior artwork||Alex Williamson|
|First published||3 October 2006|
|Era||Civil War era|
|Timeline||15—19 November 3065|
Cockroaches is a short story by Jason M. Hardy that was published online on BattleCorps on 3 October 2006. It was also published in print in the third BattleCorps print anthology, Weapons Free, in 2012.
|“||Pwyll Lankarr is a dead man. A member of the Death's Head Mercenary Corps, when the unit was destroyed he did his best to resurrect it single-handedly. Only he failed. Now he's stuck on the backwater world of Antallos, with no money, no 'Mechs, only three others in his unit, and his creditors hot on his tail. But if there's only one thing Pwyll's good at, it's surviving...||”|
ComStar Acolyte Galton Hackett, the first employer of the decimated Death's Head Mercenary Corps, has suffered personal hardship as a result of the failed mission that also destroyed the mercenary unit; it is suggested he had to leave ComStar. As of November 3065 he has tracked the remnant of the unit down on Antallos and hired mercenary bounty hunter Dusty Krale to kill Pwyll Lankarr for revenge.
With only one loyal Corps member to back him up (Sera), Pwyll buys a Scarabus in very poor condition, being a trained MechWarrior who piloted a Locust a few times back at the academy. Together with Sera he patches up the 'Mech and meets Krale in a bar for a brief talk some thirty minutes before Krale is contractually obliged to kill him.
In a battle with Krale's forces in the city of Blackjack the next day, Pwyll identifies Hackett's Grim Reaper and manages to destroy the cockpit, killing Hackett. Then he radioes Krale and informs him of Hackett's death, which, according to a throwaway comment from Krale the night before, voided Krale's contract with Hackett through the death of one of the contracting parties. Krale thus has no reason anymore to kill Pwyll.