The Hired Hand is a short story by Ben Paddon published on Jump-Leads.com on June 2, 2011. It features the Freelancer Hayter some time prior to his encounter with Richard Llewellyn and Thomas Meaney in Rogues and Scallywags.
- The events of this story appear to set up Hayter's involvement in Rogues and Scallywags.
- Hayter refers to having been "under contract for summat else 'til recently." This may refer to his time spent waiting for Llewellyn, which is concurrent with the events of Training Day.
- Several references are made to Hayter's hand, which is loses prior to the events of Rogues and Scallywags:
- Hat refers to having already paid "an arm and a leg" to track down the sword of immortality - "throwing in an extra handsworth isn't going to do much damage."
- Hat shakes Hayter's hand at the end of the story.
- The title, of course.
- Several other inter-dimensional mercenaries for hire are named. Moffat in particular appears to be named for Doctor Who writer and producer Steven Moffat. Cain is likely named after actor Dean Cain, who rose to prominence in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman before plummeting back into obscurity with practically everything he's appeared in since.
- Hat's name may be a reference to the be-hatted Badger, a character from Joss Whedon's Firefly.
- Published the day after Spheres of Influence, another Jump Leads story posted on the website under the category "In-Universe Fiction".