compiled overview of the 20ton Mercury 'Mech, from various BattleTech novels and game sourcebooks:

The unveiling of the Mercury was heralded as the dawn of a new age in BattleMech design. Billed as an obvious successor to the aging Stinger and Wasp, the Mercury answered many dreams of scout lance pilots. Initial specifications called for the light 'Mech to be faster and better armed than any other in its class, all without a reduction in armor.

Deployed for the first time in 2742, the Mercury was an electronic marvel, the showpiece of the Star League Defense Forces. At the unveiling, Mitchell Vehicles spokesmen described multiple breakthrough systems only in general terms. None of the new 'Mechs were allowed outside the direct control of the Regular Army.

Up to the time of the Exodus, the new Mercury 'Mechs remained posted with units that were stationed on Terra, and at the factory on Graham IV. All these units left with General Aleksandr Kerensky. The highest concentration to remain behind were with the Eighth Recon Battalion of the Third Regimental Combat Team, known as the Eridani Light Horse, which later became a renowned mercenary unit. The Eighth lost all twelve of its Mercury 'Mechs during fighting on Sendai in 2798.

Over the years, replacement parts for the Mercury’s more exotic electronic equipment have become more and more difficult to find. The specialized myomer that allowed the Mercury to put on great bursts of speed is no longer available, nor is the advanced composite armor with which the 'Mech was initially equipped. As a result, the remaining operational Mercurys must make do with inferior replacement parts.

With its high speed and energy-based weapons, the Mercury is an ideal scout and raider, capable of remaining in the field for as long as the pilot is able to withstand the stresses of battle.

The few critics of the design decry the Mercurys lack of jump jets, pointing out that in combat conducted in built-up areas such as a city, the ability to jump gives a smart pilot the opportunity to get behind an opponent and attack the weaker rear armor. Despite this apparent drawback, the Mercury is well accepted by light lance commanders, because urban combat is far less common in 3025 than it was during the First and Second Succession Wars. Though comparable in weight to the Stinger and Wasp, the Mercurys heavier weapons and armor give it a decided edge in combat, and its superior ground speed allows it to quickly withdraw from larger opponents.

Though both Martell medium lasers use the same type of barrel and targeting feeds, they feature completely distinct power systems. The right arm laser diffuses the power all along the upper and lower arm, housing redundant systems in both sections to provide backup capabilities should one part of the arm be damaged. The torso mount, however, clusters the entire system into a compact area. Any damage to the torso, other than a direct hit on the power system, is likely to pass through, missing the laser entirely.

The Hessen IX small lasers in the head and the center torso are a matched pair. The lasers are slipped into place, bolted down and connected in three places to the power circuits and cooling feeds. If the lasers are damaged or destroyed, the bolts can be removed and the entire system replaced, usually within minutes. This modular replacement system was expected to revolutionize the logistical support of field units, but the Exodus and First Succession War effectively put an end to any radical departure from standard military procedure. The value of this 'Mech's modular design was lost to the Successor States, but not to the heirs of Kerensky. This 'Mech clearly inspired the OmniMechs that have so recently terrorized the Inner Sphere.

Using a basic structure, power plant and main torso, the Mercury can support many combinations of weapons systems and other equipment. The most obvious advantage of this modular construction is the ease of maintenance and repair. Recovery from battle damage is a simple matter. Of almost equal importance is the ability to vary the 'Mech's weapon mix, tailoring it for a specific mission and keeping the enemy guessing about the Mercury's abilities.

Though not in service with the Successor States or mercenary units, the Mercury is common in the Com Guards, especially with The Grace of Thought IV-xi and Straight Words IV-epsilon. Drawing mostly reconnaissance and intelligence missions, these 'Mechs differ from the usual Equipment Package 99 variety of Mercury seen most often in the Star League Army. The Com Guards' Mercury MCY-97 carries the Beagle active probe for enhanced detection capability and Myomer Accelerator Signal Circuitry for fast getaways, giving up a medium laser and a small laser to make room. Though a weak fighter, this model is a premier reconnaissance 'Mech.

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