The Calm of the Void

Calm of the Void cover.jpg
The Calm of the Void
Product information
Type Novella
Author Randall N. Bills
Pages 75 (EPUB edition)
46 (PDF edition)
Cover Artwork David Kerber
Publication information
Publisher MechaPub, INc.
Catalyst Game Labs
First published 18 November 2019
Era Succession Wars era
Timeline 5 December 2991 - 20 June 2992
Series MechWarrior 5: Origins
Followed by Vision's Hunger

The Calm of the Void, subtitled A MechWarrior 5 Origins Series Story, Installment 1, is an original BattleTech novella penned by Randall N. Bills, offered as a free tie-in product supporting the MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries computer game. It was originally released in electronic format on 18 November 2019, before being also included in an electronic omnibus collection on 12 December 2019, two days after the game's launch. The novella was later re-released as part of The Mercenary Life anthology released 12 April 2021, with an additional author postscript.

Plot summary[edit]

Working for Merchant Captain Cardian of the free trader JumpShip Talia's Investiture, Nikolai Mason has a fierce professional rivalry with procurement officer Jules Vonic, whose position with Cardian he hopes to usurp. Vonic is aware of his goal, and tells him to his face that "Whatever you want, I get."

To prove his worth, draw the Captain's attention and get the promotion he seeks, Nicolai endeavors to procure a replacement Motor Control Unit for a Star League era Champion, a lostech spare desperately sought by the Twelfth Star Guards, one of the mercenary units Cardian supplies. To this end Nikolai makes contact with Chloe, a tech with the Blackhearts, and develops a crush on her. From her he learns of Detlef Jorgenson, a master tech with Bowie Industries who is in possession of such a MCU and who is prepared to "jump ship" to a new employer. As corporations don't usually let their master techs walk away, Nikolai arranges for Jorgenson's covert extraction on Wyatt.

Nikolai had considered a Free Worlds League attack on Wyatt coinciding with his mission a complication so unlikely as to be negligible. However, their escape truck unexpectedly comes under attack from a Wasp in Marik Militia livery. Jorgenson is killed and Nikolai is wounded. Merchant Captain Cardian's meticulously planned timetable for his year-long round trip is upset and pushed back two days, earning Nikolai his ire. Worse, it turns out that Vonic was apparently behind the attack; she has secured the priceless MCU and is the one to provide it to the Twelfth Star Guards five weeks later.

Thus, Vonic reaps all the rewards for Nicolai's toil and expenses, namely the prestige, contacts, and good standing with Cardian. The wounded Nikolai can only watch helplessly as she mouths her "Whatever you want, I get" to him.

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