Gray's Ghosts were a company-sized mercenary unit with a very bad reputation for rape, substance abuse, and war crimes, to the point where they could be described as periphery bandits moonlighting as mercenaries.
The command was reportedly formed in 3062, when Cpt. Vince Chevalle and his company of misfits left the AFFC. The newly-registered mercenary unit took contracts that few others would, and was apparently very successful at crowd control and counterinsurgency operations.
Within five years, they had attained a rating as "Unreliable" by the Mercenary Review and Bonding Commission, with three confirmed contract breaches, two more under arbitration, and many additional cases of failing to provide cover for friendly units. At an unspecified time "recently" prior to 3067, Gray's Ghosts were accused of having abandoned their flank position while operating alongside the Fighting Shamrocks as a subcontracted unit, an action that saw a lance of Shamrock 'Mechs destroyed before the unit could regroup. The Fighting Shamrocks swore to destroy Gray's Ghosts for this, but, lacking transports, were unable to act on the oath.
From the onset, the operations of Gray's Ghosts were followed by reports of atrocities and substantial amounts of civilian casualties and collateral damage, as well as rumors of sexual offenses; however, due to insufficient evidence, all inquiries concluded as of 3067 had to acquit the unit (with numerous more cases still under review at the time). One such ongoing investigation focused on a "recent" (as of 3067) raid on Sierra in the Free Worlds League where they were accused of having sexually assaulted all three daughters of Baron Gustav Feltmann.
According to the (apocryphal) German-only novel Blutige Jagd, Gray's Ghosts (spelled Grey's Ghosts in the novel) were garrisoning Andiron for the Circinus Federation, prior to Hans Grüner taking control of the world. Grüner had acquired Andiron as a fief in 3062 already, but apparently only managed to have the Ghosts transferred elsewhere somewhat later over the course of his slow and clandestine takeover of total control over the entire world; it was speculated that he might even have bribed the Ghosts to request a transfer.Gray's Ghosts returned to Andiron in early September 3067 as part of a Federation force, to check on the world that had fallen silent under Grüner's rule. It was observed that the motley Federation force was lucky to be three weeks late, as they would have been massacred by Grüner's forces, had Grüner's rule not been toppled by a combined Kell Hounds/Clan Wolf-in-Exile expedition three weeks earlier (who had arrived with orders to bring Grüner to trial in Lyran space for war crimes). Gray's Ghosts subsequently resumed garrison duty on Andiron.
The MRBC judged the Ghosts guilty of war crimes in early 3069 for their actions on Sierra. A number of bounty hunters and other mercenary commands seeking revenge hunted Gray's Ghosts, but through their contract with the Circinicus Federation they were effectively working for the Word of Blake, who had practically taken over the Federation (implying that they enjoyed the protection of the Word of Blake and presumably also received high-tech equipment, in the Word of Blake's usual fashion of luring mercenary units into their service). At the time, their last reported location was Andiron in the Circinus Federation.
Gray's Ghosts were still on Galatea when the Coalition launched a major offensive to recapture the planet in 3075, and by 3076 it was reportedly confirmed that they had been wiped out to a man. However, "two battered Level IIIs, including hastily integrated mercenary forces" of the Word of Blake's Eleventh Division had managed to evacuate from Galatea in early 3076 and flee to the Blake Protectorate; the unspecified mercenary forces among them may or may not have included a remnant of Gray's Ghosts.
|Commanding Officers of Gray's Ghosts|
|Captain||Vince Chevalle||3062 - 3072|
They preferred to outnumber the enemy when possible.
Their equipment often lacked repairs and was, as a result, in bad shape. The unit also didn't own any transport assets.
Dragoon Rating: F (Under Review)
Rating unknown; unit considered guilty of war crimes by MRBC
- CO: Captain Vince Chevalle
By the time of their attack on Galatea in 3072, there is no indication anymore that their (unspecified) equipment was substandard; apparently, the Word of Blake had supplied them with up-to-date equipment.
- The unit's name was thought to be a callback to famous Solaris VII gladiator Gray Noton, who used a crest of a ghost with a crosshairs on it. (Notably, this may be in error. The nickname of Gray Noton, who had died more than three decades earlier, had famously been "Legend Killer"; there is no other source suggesting Gray Noton was called "Ghost".)
- If the (apocryphal) information from the novel Blutige Jagd is taken at face value, it seems Gray's Ghosts took up cadre duty with the Circinus Federation (itself usually considered a pirate realm) more or less immediately after registering with the MRBC, and were apparently based as garrison on Andiron from where they were sent on counterinsurgency missions and raids. This is plausible insofar as the unit's profile and the missions they carried out (and how they carried them out) seems to align with a periphery pirate realm more than any Great House. At some point between 3062 and 3067 they were transferred off Andiron, but returned in Septemer of 3067, still or again working for the Federation.
- Masters & Minions: The StarCorps Dossiers, p. 224, "Word of Blake Mercenary Employment"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 120, "The Condemned"
- Mercenaries Supplemental II, p. 38, "Gray's Ghosts"
- Mercenaries Supplemental II, p. 33, "Fighting Shamrocks"
- Blutige Jagd, p. 243
- Blutige Jagd, pp. 389-390
- Mercenaries Supplemental Update, p. 20
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3072, p. 109
- Total Chaos, pp. 113, 122
- Total Chaos, p. 150