“The law has failed in the Frontier. Those that debate this fact have very obviously never set foot on a world outside the Inner Universe. The injustice that rules so very far from our safe home at our perceived center of the cosmos is not something that can be denied by any government servant at a press conference, nor is it something that can be shouted down by any blustery television pundit. The fact of the matter is, you can't swing an arm in the Frontier without backhanding a criminal empire or elbowing an exploitative corp in the eye.
The law may have failed the Frontier, but the fact of the matter is that law can only fail when people fail the law.
That's why we exist.
We've been called a lot of things over the course of our existence. We were mercs once, then decided that pure personal gain just wasn't enough incentive to rent our rifles. We banded together under the flag of justice and struck out to the great unknown with one goal in mind: bring law to those the law can't, or won't, touch. People thought we were positively out of our minds; 'Crazy' was another title we've been given over the years. Some of our old colleagues said that only the ULP could ever hope to bring order to its chaos despite our successes during The Chaos. We called them defeatist and conservative; they called us dreamers.
The one thing that everyone did agree on, though, was that we were idealists and driven ones at that. They said that we had an image of how the world should work and no force in all the 'verse could convince us otherwise or even have a hope of stopping us. I remember one budding wordsmith-with-a-gun summing us up in a sentence: “Sell-swords with a cause, the dogs of war and peace, the guns of blind justice- a bigger bunch of bleeding hearts than I have ever seen before.” I remember thinking 'Bleeding Hearts… I like that'.
The name has stuck to this day. I know that it was meant to be condescending, but hell, everybody seems to really dig it and who am I to say we need to find a better name?
Once, we numbered only two dozen. 24 humans bent on salvaging something of merit after The Cataclysm. Today, not long after we got our start, we're just creeping up on 6 full divisions—that's ten thousand warriors per, for you mercs that didn't go through the military to end up where you are. Nearly 60,000 soldiers in space at any time, ready to saddle up and drop planetside in days, even hours when needed. Wherever injustice rears its head and turns a mean face, you can guarantee that we'll be there, falling from the sky to bring law and order. To the unjust corporations exploiting and enslaving the people, you better straighten yourselves up and start treating your employees right; the Frontier is not your domain to be ruled like corrupt kings. To the criminals that make the Frontier home… run. Fast. Because we're coming and there's no way you could hope to ever stand against us.
To those who are tired of being wielded as a blunt instrument by private interests and serving the selfish wants of the independent wealthy, the Bleeding Hearts are always looking for new blood. Bring your gun, bring your blade, bring your friends if you want, because there's a lot of ground to cover out there in the 'verse and still a lot of work for us to do.”
-Hearts Commander Marshal Braddock, “The Manifesto of the Bleeding Hearts”
Bleeding Hearts are marked by their unshakable belief in truth and justice. They follow rank and file and work like a military unit, rather than a loose association of strapped, malicious and possibly insane mercs. Some assume that keeping to tradition makes them nothing more than a bunch of weaklings that don't operate on their rules of engagement. But the Hearts are anything but weak, and though they display their badges of truth and justice proudly, they're still mercs; they're still hard as coffin nails and aren't afraid to roar when talks break down. They might be a little adverse to some common conventions of merc-work, like collateral damage and vandalism, but they bring the noise as well as any outfit in the 'Verse, and that's a guarantee.
The Bleeding Hearts were born during The Chaos when the Sol System was destroyed by The Cataclysm. The churches of humanity unified, for only the second time, for the purpose of forming a tight-knit group of mercs to defend the universe from the injustice of man. The corrupt government of Legion brought martial law to any planets they touched. The Bleeding Hearts responded by bringing order to the chaos where they could. They balanced the new planet and strove to one day bring peace to The Inner Universe. Unfortunately the group lacked the power to attain their goals until far too late so there were many unnecessary deaths in Olympus; something they still strive to atone for.
Most of The Inner Universe now falls in the bailiwick of the Bleeding Hearts. While they don't interfere with the day to day operations of the other factions, the Hearts are always vigilant for any shifts in the balance. Now, with the majority of the Inner Universe balanced, they have begun to set their eyes on the Frontier. With the increasing regimentation of the central planets, news of more and more injustices from the fringes have started to reach the ears of the Inner Heart Council. Recently, many frontier operators have started to receive unexpected visits from the Blood Judges; and while the Bleeding Hearts will argue that the offenders are better off now, they would probably disagree, if they still could.
Joining the Hearts works much the same as in any paramilitary organization. Promotion is fairly regular as there is a significant attrition factor. All higher positions are filled from within though, so perseverance and ability are quickly rewarded. Many of the lower echelon take pride in the fact that even those of the Inner Heart Council at one time served in a similar position.
While the membership of the Bleeding Hearts is still a human majority, there are now representatives of every race in the ranks, with the notable exception of the militantly secular Cha-Leen. The current incarnation of the Hearts eschews most of its religious roots, but even what remains is still too much for them.
Relations With Other Factions Edit
While it's undeniable that the Corpers are greedy and exploitative, it's also true that their technology betters the lives of most of the known universe. The Hearts keep close tabs on individual operators in the Corpers structure but anyone high enough in their power structure to attract attention is virtually guaranteed to have taken efforts to ensure that the Hearts wont find them out of balance. When Ultima starts making random charitable donations, this is typically why.
Virtually the opposite of the Corpers, this faction breaks multiple laws in their day to day actions. This isn't what concerns the Hearts though. What does bother them are all the crimes that are made possible by their pirated and knock off technology. This is in addition to any harm resulting from the inferior tech the Exchange sometimes peddles. The Hearts concentration on curtailing the Exchange's activities is one of the main factors leading to the various world governments tolerating the Hearts interference in their affairs—along with their firepower.
While frequently the Hearts and the Radicals are on the same side, the Radicals penchant for unnecessary force and disregard for collateral damage causes friction. Should a Radical use more force in achieving an objective than the Hearts feel it was worth, they're sure to receive a visit from the Judges.