another BattleTech writeup
The year is AD 3000. After more than two hundred years of living beyond the realms of the Inner Sphere, the Clans are growing restless. Those who see that it is the destiny of the Clans to storm the decadent Houses and rebuild the Star League on the ashes of those who first destroyed it have been pushing the issue. However, the factions who would rather let the Successor States die first and then save humanity have made a strong point- without any knowledge of what has happened over the past two centuries, any major military action would be operating on information that could be very wrong.
To remedy this lack of information, Clan Wolf was tasked with creating a mercenary unit that would act as the eyes and ears of the Clans. To this end, the Wolves took their best and brightest of their freebirth warriors and sprinkled their best amidst them, outfitted them with the best of the pre-Exodus technology in storage, and sent them back into the Inner Sphere to hire themselves out as a mercenary unit.
While mercenary bands have a tendancy to pop up in the Inner Sphere like dandelions, even fewer emerge from nowhere five regiments strong and armed with technology not seen in the Inner Sphere since 2784. Not to look a potential gift horse in the, mouth, though, Ian Davion offered them their first mercenary contract, and more would follow shortly after. The superb leadership of Jamie Wolf combined with the extraordinary skill of the Dragoon Mechwarriors gave the mercenaries a reputation for greatness, and by the time they made their return to the Clans in 3009, they had served under each of the Houses.
Their initial report was less than pleasant. Not only was the Inner Sphere not on the verge of collapse (as everyone had believed), it was actually holding on to itself. As time passed, the Dragoons' further reports reinforced this fact- the discovery of the Grey Death memory core gave the Inner Sphere access to technologies thought lost since the time of the Star League, the possible unification of House Davion and House Steiner into a single nation potentially allowing them to dominate the other Houses into submission and declaring itself the inheritor of the Star League. Only news of the Fourth Succession War kept the Clans from mobilizing and attacking the Inner Sphere right then.
Meanwhile, Wolf's Dragoons were becoming more and more entrenched in the lifestyle of the Inner Sphere. Many were beginning to think of their adopted planet Outreach as their home, and less of the Clans. Reports became sparse as time went on; by the time the Comstar exploratory vessel Outbound Light was captured by the Smoke Jaguars in 3048, the Dragoons were no longer an exploratory branch of the Clans- they had become, now and forever, a part of the Inner Sphere, turning on their former masters. When the then-ilKhan Leo Showers invited the Dragoons to return and take part in the imminent invasion, Natasha Kerensky was the sole person to return.
It can be said that the Dragoons were well aware of the impending Clan invasion- but who would have believed them if they said that the survivors of Aleksandr Kerensky's military were going to return on a mission of conquest? However, when the Clans were forced to spend a year's time allowing their supply lines to catch up to their conquests, Jamie Wolf summoned the House Leaders to Outreach with the sole goal of teaching them how to fight an enemy who was alien to their ways of thinking.
Wolf's Dragoons later participated in the defense of the Inner Sphere, including the Battle of Luthien. By the time that the dust on Tukayyid settled, Wolf's Dragoons was in a strong position- when Comstar relinquished their sole role as mercenary contacts, the Dragoons had formed the second Mercenary Review and Bonding Commission- an organization staffed by representatives of each of the Houses and Comstar designed to ensure fairness and accountability in mercenaries- and had also formed the Hiring Hall, a facility on Outreach that placed interested MechWarriors with potential mercenary leaders.
However, as with all things, their stability was not to last. Elements of the Clans pressed into service and unwilling to deal with the stigma of being a mercenary successfully instigated a rebellion against Jamie Wolf, in an attempt to return to the old ways- and while the old commander was victorious in the violent internal struggle, it would be a year before he was able to train recruits and replenish his forces- and thus, return to the fighting. The Dragoons did so, and returned to active duty in 3056.
As far as mercenaries in the Inner Sphere go, Wolf's Dragoons are the best and brightest money can buy, rivalled only by the Kell Hounds for size (being five reinforced regiments strong), talent (rivalling the best of the Clans and Inner Sphere alike), and self-sufficiency (largely owning their own 'Mech production plant, a complete technical support staff, and their own training facilities). Their operations on Outreach have made being a mercenary a highly professional calling. Sixty years of service in the Inner Sphere is thirty times the life expectancy of most mercenary units- that the Dragoons are still kicking and as well-off as they are is a testament to the unit's well-deserved place in the Inner Sphere.
- BattleTech Field Manual: Mercenaries