Not the Way the Smart Money Bets

Not the Way the Smart Money Bets.jpg
Not the Way the Smart Money Bets
Product information
Type Novella (6 parts)
Author Michael A. Stackpole
Pages 152
Publication information
Publisher BattleCorps
Catalyst Game Labs
Product code CAT35882NV
First published 7 March–16 May 2008 (BattleCorps)
Era Succession Wars era
Timeline 3–7 October 3010
Series Kell Hounds Ascendant
Followed by A Tiny Spot of Rebellion

Not the Way the Smart Money Bets, subtitled A Tale of the Kell Hounds in the original BattleCorps release, is a serialized novella by Michael A. Stackpole that was published online on BattleCorps in six parts. It was republished in print in 2019 as the first installment of the Kell Hounds Ascendant Trilogy, where its title is (apparently erroneously) given as Not How the Smart Money Bets on the back cover, but remains unchanged within the book.

BattleCorps teasers[edit]

Part 1[edit]

published on 7 March 2008
Two brothers arrive on Galatea with money in their pocket and a vision to create a unit that will change life for the better. But first they have to deal with life that is worse.

Part 2[edit]

published on 21 March 2008
One brother dives into the sharks den. One brother dances into the local scene. With both actions the Kell Hounds set themselves on a course that could collide or collude with the powers of Galatea.

Part 3[edit]

published on 4 April 2008
"A month"... If the Kells could recruit and outfit their unit in a month then they just might skirt around a raging Blizzard hiding a Social General with a chip on his son's shoulder. Of course to do that they have to dodge idiot son's, assassins, politics, and even angry potential future girlfriends. They probably wished they had brought their 'Mechs.

Part 4[edit]

published on 18 April 2008
One brother at an embassy ball, the other at a fine restaurant. One will spar with words, the other weapons, but both Kells are winning friends, influencing a planet and pounding on those that oppose them in their quest to form the Kell Hounds.

Part 5[edit]

published on 2 May 2008
The fight is set, the outcome will determine if the Hounds rise like a rocket or plummet like a rock. But first they have to make sure that Patrick and his 'Mech actually make it to the fight in one piece.

Part 6[edit]

published on 16 May 2008
It's fight day and the Kells are fighting the fight of their very existence. All before Patrick ever takes the field, and if they can't find him a BattleMech the fight will be over before it even can begin.

Plot summary[edit]

Morgan and Patrick Kell have just inherited a fortune from their cousin Arthur Luvon, the late spouse of Archon of the Lyran Commonwealth Katrina Steiner. The Kell brothers intend to form a morally upstanding mercenary unit with the money by hiring only the best MechWarriors and personnel on Galatea, the Mercenary's Star. They had not anticipated the fallout their offer, broadcast in advance before they even set foot on the world, would create: A financially sound outfit with close ties to House Steiner is almost too good to be true.

Upon arriving on Galatea in person on 3 October 3010, the Kell brothers are greeted by Gordon Franck from the Lyran office of Mercenary Relations. Sympathetic to their cause, Franck advises them about another unforeseen aspect: Their hiring offer is going to inject a lot of money into the market and will thereby upset the business model of local loan shark and underworld kingpin Haskell Blizzard, as it will allow mercenary MechWarriors to pay him off for good instead of working the debt off in arena fights likely to incur further costly damage — owing money to Blizzard is colloquially called being "snowed under" among mercenaries on Galatea. Blizzard is very well connected. His granddaughter happens to be married to Thomas Volmer, son of corrupt Lyran General "Viper" Volmer who is in command of the local militia and police on Galatea as well as spies and underworld informants.

Volmer immediately attempts to intimidate Morgan into playing by his rules, pointing out that the Archon has little direct power on Galatea. Morgan is prepared to hear Volmer's demands, but finds them so outrageous that the openly calls Volmer out as being Blizzard's puppet and threatens him back.

The Kell brothers decide to take on Blizzard (and Volmer) head-on and get the first punch in. Morgan goes to a demolition derby event that Blizzard is known to attend, a rigged mock fight with replica BattleMechs built from inferior materials and quality. The fight is won by "Titan" in a show 'Mech imitating a Commando. As expected, Morgan is summoned to meet Haskell Blizzard in his box. They have a very straightforward discussion about the situation, but fail to come to an understanding. It ends with Blizzard telling Morgan that he has Patrick followed, and will mark him to prove his absolute power on Galatea. Morgan is also introduced to "Titan", who turns out to be none other than Thomas Volmer, and meets Veronica Matova.

Patrick goes dancing and meets a charming, street-widse woman named Tisha who gives him a street-level perspective on things.

Featured Characters[edit]

Featured systems[edit]

Featured BattleTech[edit]





  • Anachronistically, Hansen's Roughriders are mentioned in Chapter 1 as an established mercenary unit although that unit would not form until several years later.