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|Rules of Salvage|
|Author||Steven Mohan Jr.|
|First published||26 December 2004|
|Era||Succession Wars era|
|“||When you live day-to-day on an asteroid in the unforgiving, pirate rife periphery, sometimes all you have to live by is the parts you can scrounge and your honor.||”|
On the airless asteroid Kuzmin's Treasure in the The Rock system (Oberon Confederation), 437 souls live an impoverished life as miners in an ancient colony with only minimal infrastructure. Ten year old Candace Alycia "Candle" Denton witnessed pirates kill her father and rape her mother when she was seven years old, and now another pirate spacecraft is inbound. Recalled home by her mother from a scavenging tour on a scrapyard the Dentons found by chance, Candle unexpectedly comes across a damaged and derelicted BattleMech and finds it still functional.
After the pirate raid (which Candle's mother escaped with her and her two younger siblings by driving across the surface in a truck), the planetoid's de-facto capital, Last Chance, has suffered great destruction, including the common dome, and food is in short supply.
Candle hires Oleg Lukanov, a salvage dealer, to override the security interlock on the 'Mech at the scrapyard. As Candle is waiting for him, the pirates return. Lukanov arrives, but then takes the 'Mech for himself. Crestfallen, Candle returns to her family's camp and finds pirates there. Lukanov arrives in the 'Mech, kills the pirates and destroys their small vessel. He then explains to Candle that he was merely defending himself and proceeds to kill her to blame it on the pirates later, so that he can claim the 'Mech and the entire secret scrapyard. Because of its damaged leg the 'Mech topples and falls, however, and the cockpit is damaged. With Lukanov helplessly trapped in a cockpit that is slowly leaking air, Candle turns and walks away.
- The pirate vessel is not identified by type, but is described as "a small long-range shuttle", possibly a KR-61.
- The salvaged 'Mech is not identified by type. It is described as a bipedal model looking like an insect, with twin missile launchers rising up behind the cockpit like wings and it employs one laser of unspecified type from each arm. From the description it is most likely an Archer, but it could (less likely) also be a Crusader, a Dervish, a Trebuchet or a Whitworth.