|Cover artwork||Karsten Schreurs|
|Publisher||Ulisses Spiele GmbH|
|First published||17 April 2014|
|Era||Clan Invasion era|
|Timeline||15 July 3057-30 September 3058|
|Preceded by||Erster Kontrakt|
|Followed by||Riskante Ziele|
Waffengefährten ("Brothers-In-Arms"), by Arous Brocken, is the 24th in the line of German-language Classic BattleTech Novels that Ulisses Spiele took over from FanPro and continued. As the fifth part of the Bear Cycle, it continues the story of MechWarrior George Bear and his newly-minted mercenary unit from the previous novel, Erster Kontrakt.
Written in German and exclusively published in that language so far, Waffengefährten does not meet the current criteria for Canon in the BattleTech universe. As an official product published under a valid license, it should be regarded as apocryphal.
From the back cover (translated from German)
|“|| Enemy spies, corrupt officers and terrorists cause more than enough trouble in the Chaos March to provide sufficient work for George Bear and his small unit. However, both clients and allies act anything but benevolent towards a newcomer to the business. Only George's tactical abilities and his field agents can save the unit from a deadly setback.
An industrial magnate's offer to defend him and his factories against pirates seems ideal for the young unit to get used to each other and prove themselves in battle. But for yet another time the mission turns into a stress test for the Biting Bear's Bashes and for their commander...
The story picks up roughly a year after George Bear's first own mercenary mission (as narrated in the precending novel). It narrates the growth and evolution of his unit, the Biting Bear's Bashes, into a 'Mech lance plus conventional scout forces and an extensive intelligence gathering arm through a number of episodes, with events on Outreach, the Mercenary's Star, in between. Some missions are only mentioned in passing.
On Elgin, Zhanzheng de Guang operatives are trying to stir up trouble but George manages to identify their base. He also unmasks a high-ranking local officer as a Zhangzheng de Guang agent and even manages to salvage her Spider.
Back on Outreach, George is tasked with gathering evidence against an ammunition manufacturer who is supposedly using cheaper but more dangerous chemicals. As it turns out the firm is completely legit, but George is supposed to plant evidence in their computer system. He does it, but later provides proof of the falsification to the other party to make himself a name in the local intelligence community.
George and the Biting Bear's Bashes have another run-in with the same Zhanzheng de Guang agents from Elgin again on their mission to Van Diemen IV. George again manages to root them out, after he gets rid of his incompetent and condescending superior officer on the mission. Just after the unit leaves Van Diemen IV they can see an invasion force from the Free Worlds League descending on the planet.
In early 3058 George accepts a pirate hunting contract with an industrial conglomerate on Saiph that in reality boils down to corporate warfare between two powerful firms on the planet, Sitwell Corporation and the Ploussard family holdings. The conflict escalates into something resembling a civil war before long, with both parties too evenly matched for one to achieve the upper hand. Paid largely in his employer's stocks George realizes that the tremendous damage inflicted on both sides means his payment is getting smaller by the day; the contract will be a net loss. Eventually, he negotiates a truce with the mercenaries fighting for the other side on his own initiative, reasoning that they need to stop the carnage before both their employers are bankrupt and thus unable to pay their mercenaries. He even agrees to their demant to capture a certain value in goods to make good for their losses before both mercenary units abandon their respective employers to cut their losses.
- Battle Hawk
- Gremlin wheeled tank
- Thor (Combat Vehicle)
- Achileus battle armor
- Elemental (Battle Armor)
- Gray Death Light Scout Armor
- Gray Death Standard battle armor
- Infiltrator battle armor
- Raiden battle armor
- unspecified DropShips Bora, Yasirreh Harrata
- Like in previous novels, the author has included references to BattleTech computer games and people with a real-world connection to the game:
- The novel features one Sgt. Hagen Unther (who may or may not be intended to be the character of the same name from the MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries computer game) as a minor character. In the novel, Unther is an antagonistic former lance commander who tried to withhold BattleROM footage in order to deny George bonus payments for a combat victory over another 'Mech; George successfully sues him before a MRBC board.
- The mission on Van Diemen IV is to destroy the office level of Novastar Armaments, who were secretly supplying local rebels with weapons, in a larger office tower. This is reminiscent of an early mission from the MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries game.