After a turbulent and politically charged assignment, all vessels belonging to the 8th Dragon Squadron of Patocuda have now departed the conflict ravaged system of Terra Mater.  Since the signing of their well publicized agreement to support the Brotherhood of Terra Mater in a full scale takeover of their home system, the contract mercs faced a campaign fraught with issues as many powerful and equally well organised factions were staunchly focused on keeping the Terra Mater system under Justice Party control.

During the operation, Dragon pilots reported swift and deadly resistance from local parties and – rather unexpectedly – followers of the Guardians of Harmony; a group known to hold strong ties with Utopian cult leader, Pranav Antal. Several coordinated attacks were made on 8th Dragon controlled systems by the GoH following the invasion of Terra Mater – suggesting an attempt to shift the mercenary group’s attention from their target system to the defending of their home territories.

After talks with rival faction ambassadors and peacekeepers, the Dragon Squadron publicly agreed to pull out of Terra Mater leaving the Brotherhood to their own fate – a move that surprised many.

However, despite the ceasefire – dubbed the Terra Mater Treaty –  internal conflict continued to rage within the system’s borders resulting in a subsequent governmental takeover by the Brotherhood.  Whether or not the 8th Dragon Squadron continued military and naval operations at this point has become a matter of debate, but GoH attacks continue on 8DS assets to the present day.

We had the opportunity to speak to Commanders Adamantium and Dowcow of the 8th Dragon Squadron at a Patocudan Outpost.

Patocuda Herald: Hello Commanders. Thanks for talking to us. Firstly, do you confirm or deny that the 8th Dragon Squadron continued their involvement in the Terra Mater system AFTER the treaty was signed?

CMDR Adamantium: The Terra Mater Treaty wasn’t worth the datapad it was written on. Guardians of Harmony failed to live up to their side of the agreement, despite our orders to vacate Terra Mater and the surrounding systems. We had our contacts within Brotherhood of Terra Mater, and were well aware of their strategy for taking control of the system. The order was given, and Dragon ships were seen to be relocating from Terra Mater, yet the Guardians of Harmony still hold us directly responsible for the takeover. Make of that what you will.

PH: It has been said that the Terra Mater assignment was the first failed contract taken by the 8th since its inception back in 3301. Can you confirm this and does it worry you that it has tarnished your reputation as contract mercs?

CMDR Dowcow: Well, the requirements of the original contract were to take Terra Mater for the Brotherhood of Terra Mater. Even if we had no involvement in the final war, the result was that Terra Mater ended up in the hands of the Brotherhood. If you can win a war while sitting in a hot-tub with a couple of slave girls and a mountain of Tarach Spice, I’d say that counts as the greatest victory we ever had.

PH: The Guardians of Harmony have reportedly continued attacks on 8th Dragon systems long after the events in Terra Mater had come to a close. Are there plans in motion to retaliate to these hostilities?

CMDR Adamantium: Someone will get bored with these ongoing attacks eventually. We’ve got the finest Star and Garter in the Galaxy to keep us occupied while their pointless bullying continues, so it won’t be us. There is little to be gained by sending the Squadron on a retaliation mission, but when copious amounts of booze are involved, anything’s possible.

PH:You have publicly announced that your expansionist policies from Patocuda are modest, yet many believe otherwise – seeing the moves into systems such as Sadhen and Biko as aggressive. Do you continue to uphold the stance that you have no plans to expand into other markets and political circles?

CMDR Dowcow: Expansion just leads to more work and control of this sector of space is not the best idea for Feudal factions such as ourselves. Empire building isn’t our thing; we do the dirty work for others that choose that path.

PH: Lastly, do the 8th Dragon Squadron plan to continue lending their services to other factions within the bubble? Where can we expect to see you next?

CMDR Adamantium: As I said, we have been approached, but no formal contracts have been agreed. For now we’re focused on restoring security to Patocuda after the attacks by Guardians of Harmony, but plans will certainly be made to take on a new campaign before long.

Ambiguous and puzzling at best, but one thing is clear. The motivation and morale of the 8th Dragon Squadron remains intact among its member mercenaries. With Terra Mater left far behind – destined to take its place among the records of past campaigns – the 8th Dragon Squadron appear nonplussed by the possible repercussions of their actions within its borders. To these soldiers of fortune, Terra Mater was just another contract and a few drinks in a strange new bar.

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