The next major organization on my list of professional mercenary groups is the Steel Legion. This organization is fascinating on many levels. It is possibly the largest “mercenary” guild in the world, definitely in Europe (that I know of – though my bias for things of my country may be showing). For many years this grouping of individuals has been running not in the shadows, but in the daylight. They are actively involved in the due process and law of the wonderful country of England. As of late, even the king himself sits on their “round table”. Admittedly this is a bit of a preposterous name given its roots in folklore, but the concept is solid.
Now, I do believe the above already marks this organization for being in line with their American counterparts, but I will delve a bit further. The first major obstacle to contend with is their ties directly with England. It could be said that the country has put them all on retainer, and thus secured their work. This statement holds some wait when it comes to the prison system as the country does (as can be seen on public records) pay the legion an exorbitant fee to take care of the legal process, but I do not believe that this is enough to get them out of hot water with our scrutiny.
You see, recently the Hand invaded the country. In fact, they invaded it twice! Now, although I do not care to see them here, this allows us a very important point in our analysis. In both cases of the enemy incursion the Steel Legion allowed the Hand to penetrate deep within the country and, at the last moment before they took London, stood in the way. The first time it was a surprise attack for defense, which you could call strategy I suppose, but the second was far, far more damning in their regard as mercenaries.
You see, per my contacts within the legion as well as the royal guard (now pirate family, though as they did I digress), the second time the legion not only waited to defend, but actively helped the Hand move through England as long as they did not damage the citizens or the towns. Now, do not get me wrong. I am quite happy that they protected us. That said, if they are hired by England they should not have helped them come into the capital. This was a political move, and one that certainly would go against their contract (and thus the pay) from the crown. I can assure you that the royal palace’s generals were unhappy. In fact, it is my belief based on a “handful” of sources that it was a power play to corner the crown, but that I have insufficient proof of, and will therefore dismiss it as hearsay at best and a doomsday theory at worst.
The point, however, is that due to the nature of how this was handled it is obvious that they were not following the credits. The Hand does not pay mercenaries; they enforce and enslave them (it is actually on their policy guidelines throughout the matrix). Even if they did, there is no way that the mercenaries compensation would be worth nearly the value of their current contracts. Thus, I believe this article too has come to a proper end. I believe the proper term for these individuals is likely lawmen, but certainly not mercenaries.