Paying the Piper is a Hammer novel in the form of three self-standing novellas:
Maybe the tariff dispute on Planner's World could've have been settled by arbitration, but when war broke out, the United Cities hired the best mercenaries money could buy:
Lt. Arne Huber was old enough to be a veteran but still young enough to have principles. He commanded a platoon of combat cars, leading from the front because he was a Slammers officer and that's the only place you can lead.
From Huber's first minutes on Plattner's World, he was in the middle of hot, flaming war. He knew that wasn't going to change until the Slammers either left the planet or his relatives back on Friesland got a coffin with a warning to bury it unopened.
FOR THE LOCALS, THE WAR WAS A MATTER OF PRINCIPLE;
TO THE SLAMMERS, IT WAS A PAYCHECK
A score of separate states and factions fought to rule Plattner's World. That was bad enough, but the planet's great wealth had attracted not only mercenaries but a worse kind of looter: interstellar investors with no qualms about making a profit on blood, so long as the profit was high enough and the blood came from somebody else.
From a weed-grown landing strip to the narrow corridors of a modern office building, Arne Huber's survival depended on quick reflexes and the blazing cyan hellfire of his gun. He and his troopers didn't like some of the choices they had to makebut they'd make them regardless, because they were the Slammers and it was their job.
DECEIT AND BETRAYAL WERE THE ONLY CERTAINTIES
Arne Huber and his platoon had to face government officials with private agendas, politicians with armies of street thugs, and a hostile armored division with the most powerful tanks on the planet. The climax would come as it always did, when the Slammers slugged it out with the best the enemy could throw at them. Tank cannon, automatic weapons, and the world-shattering thunder of massed artillery would turn the night into an inferno and a slaughterhouse.
Arne Huber and his troopers knew they could die, because they'd watched friends die on every planet where they'd served. Maybe they could even be beaten–
BUT NOBODY'D BEATEN THE SLAMMERS YET!