- Fighting Chance is a short story published in A Liaden Universe Constellation, volume ii. Before that, it was published in Allies: Adventures in the Liaden Universe, book #12. (See The Books (and other stories))
- Portrays how young Miri Robertson joined The Mercs -- Lizardi's Lunatics -- and left Surebleak behind, just shy of 14 years old.
- Characters: Miri Robertson, Penn Kalhoon, Angela "Liz" Lizardi, Miri's dying mother Katy Tayzin, Miri's abusive drunkard father Chock Robertson, etc.
- Penn Kalhoon, a friend:
Miri walked briskly, absentmindedly surefooted, keeping a close eye on the various duck-ins and hiding spots. This close to Kalhoon's Repair, the street was usually OK, Penn's dad paying the local clean-up crew a percentage in order to make sure there weren't no trouble. Still...
"Miri was walking past Grover's Tavern and it was a testament to how slim pickin's had been, that the smell of sour beer and hot grease made her mouth water."
- Miri meets Angela Lizardi:
"Name's Lizardi. You can call me Liz."...."Grew up over here," Liz said in her lazy way, while Miri worked her way through her second bowl of stew. "Boss Peterman's territory it was then...Your momma, she was baker over — well, it ain't here now, but there used to be a big bake shop over on Light Street."
- 'Katy sees Miri off:
She'd have a uniform when she got to merc headquarters...For now, she wore her best clothes, and carried her new-signed papers in a bag over her shoulder.
In the bag, too, wrapped up in a clean rag, was a smooth disk -- intarsia work, her mother had murmured, barely able to hold the thing in her two hands.
"It was your grandmother's," she whispered, "and it came from off-world. It doesn't belong here, and neither do you."
- "I'll send money," Miri said.
- "You, my daughter, are about to begin the adventure of your life."
How could Miri send money to her mother from off-world, with no banks on Surebleak, the port nearly vacant, and the Port Road nearly inaccessible?