The Merc Series
For over a decade the Quinn crime family was one of the most dominate forces along the East Coast. They controlled most of the New England region and ruled Boston with an iron grip thanks to their wealth, power, scare tactics, and a veritable army of corrupt officials. That all changed when a mercenary group known as The Foundation was hired to take the Quinn’s down. It was a task they succeeded in but at the cost of their own lives.
Nine years later, a mercenary team called Red Diamond quietly sets up shop in Boston under the guise of a MMA dojo. Comprised of the sons and daughters of The Foundation, as well as family friends, Red Diamond’s stated purpose is to pay tribute to their parents by being a force for good in a world that’s become darker and more dangerous since their parents passing.
That danger is something Megan Cruise, a genius and hacker extraordinaire, knows all too well. She was one of the NSA’s best, until she stumbled across something that made her go rogue. She founded Red Diamond to help safeguard those closest to her from what she sees coming. To help with that endeavor, she enlists the aid of her best friend, Nick.
The son of Tony Walker, a Special Forces icon, and Lisa Walker, one of the deadliest kunoichis in the world, Nick Walker is a prodigy in the art of killing. He also happens to be the one person Megan believes will get them through what is coming, World War III being the least of her concerns.
As the son of two of the best killers in the world, Nick’s childhood wasn’t what one would consider normal. His training began at a very young age. He learned ancient techniques in assassination from his mother. He learned his shooting and survival skills from his father. Family friends were tier 1 operatives and professional assassins. He trained with the best of the best in order to one day become the best. And there was no question that Nick wouldn’t one day get there, as he had more blood on his hands before he was old enough to vote than some professionals would have over their entire career.
Killing wasn’t the only thing he learned from his parents and their friends though. As the leaders of The Foundation, they founded the group on honor, integrity, loyalty, and compassion. These things mattered to Nick just as much as they did to his parents. Like offering mercy to a subdued opponent. Not being afraid to talk to the girl next door that scared everyone else. Not caring that he spent every lunch with the weird girl everyone else had ostracized just because she was different, something Nick was all too familiar with. It meant helping a classmate with his homework not because he was the son of a billionaire but because he was his friend. It also meant doing stupid things with his brother from another mother when he was getting too serious, and sometimes spending a weekend in jail for doing those stupid things. For Nick it meant not being afraid to ask the girl of his dreams to marry him even if she was heir to one of the world’s largest fortunes.
Unfortunately it also meant having your world turned upside down in the blink of an eye. That’s what happened one night so many years ago. The remnants of the Quinn crime family launched one final attack. This one directly against The Foundation. To this day, Megan, the science and math girl, still couldn’t explain how Nick had survived the wounds inflicted upon him that night. But survive he did. To the rest of the world however, Nick Walker died that night along side his parents.
Fleeing to Japan, Nick spent nine years living in the shadows with his mother’s clan. His already impressive skills grew unmatched as his abilities, fueled by darkness and rage, surpassed not only his legendary mother’s but also many of the clans greatest assassins. It wasn’t until Nick nearly lost everything again, that he realized how much he had let that darkness and rage consume him. He vowed to never again become that person.
It was around this time when Megan approached Nick about her Red Diamond idea. He was reluctant at first, not sure if he was cut out to be the leader. After the Quinn attack, only Megan knew he had made it to Japan safely. The rest thought he was dead and he had left them to deal with the fallout of that night all alone. What kind of leader was that? Nick only agreed after Megan assured him the others wanted him. Well almost everyone. Some weren’t as forgiving about the decision to keep them in the dark about Nick’s fate. It was something Nick was still trying to atone for.
Once Red Diamond’s personnel was set, Megan knew the next most important aspect for the group was to be solvent and beholden to no one. That meant no loans from the banks and certainly not being indebted to a benefactor. Only with that freedom could Red Diamond reach the heights she envisioned for them.
Megan’s father had been third-in-command for The Foundation and like her, a genius. The proudest moment in his life was the night he realized his little girl had surpassed him. The most valuable lesson he taught her was about contingency. Never put all your eggs in one basket so to speak. It was a lesson he used himself when it came to hiding The Foundation’s fortune should anything ever happen to them. Following the clues left behind by her father, Megan spent the better part of a year tracking down the hidden accounts in the Cayman Islands and Switzerland as well as the chests of gold and silver buried in Texas, Montana, and Maine to name but a few hiding spots.
With Megan’s planning, Red Diamond now possesses a state of the art compound in Maine as their secret HQ. A building in Boston for their front company as well as apartments for their alias’s to live at. And enough firepower to overthrow a small country. All of it paid free and clear before taking on a single client.
This allowed Red Diamond to be extremely selective on who they did business with and what jobs they took. While money didn’t always factor in the decision to take a job, Megan insured their talents and time were properly compensated for, especially after Nick felt the need to wave their fees on several jobs he deemed ‘worthy’. Now the majority of inquiries for Red Diamond’s services are approved by Megan. Jobs that require a significant time investment are brought up for a vote. Secrecy of the group is of the utmost importance and no job that would jeopardized that secrecy would be taken.
For two years Red Diamond operated under the radar picking up one victory after another. Their reputation for getting things done quickly and quietly earning them much praise and opportunities for growth. Some were surprised that they hadn’t already been swallowed up by one of the larger Private Military Companies of the world.
What those people couldn’t know was the bond that the team had to one another. To them Red Diamond wasn’t some job, it was a second chance for everyone there. A second chance to having a family again. Where everyone has respect, trust, and most importantly love for one another.
But like all families, they have their problems. The stress of keeping up their façade as harmless fitness and self-defense trainers has begun to take it’s toll on the team. Disillusion is starting to set in, especially when they see Nick really embrace his alias as a laid-back playboy who trains female government operatives on the side. He seems more concerned with his victories in the bedroom than on the battlefield. Not helping matters is Nick’s reluctance to officially assume his rightful role as Red Diamond’s leader. Megan finds herself in the interesting position of having to restore the team’s faith in Nick. To do that she must first convince Nick that he is indeed the right person to lead them. For only together do they have a chance of surviving the coming chaos. Nick though worries that in order to keep his family safe he’ll have no choice but to become the killer he was before. He fears alienating them even more if they ever saw what he has to keep locked away.
It’s a sacrifice Nick’s willing to make though, because in spite of all the training and killing, for him, it’s always been about protecting those you love, no matter what.