BattleTech: The Animated Series/Retribution
This transcript of the fourth episode of BattleTech: The Animated Series, Retribution, is based off a VHS recording from the initial airing.
[At the Romulus jump point, the JumpShip Katana recharges while it waits for word from the ‘Mech unit on the planet’s surface.]
[Rachel turns to Dr. Nakamura.]
Rachel: It doesn’t look good.
[On Romulus, plumes of smoke from burnt-out farm buildings testify to a recent battle. Nicolai Malthus’ red and silver Summoner walks past the devastation. Nicolai descends from the ‘Mech and is approached by Natalya in her Elemental armor.]
Natalya: We have had no success locating the remaining resistance forces.
Nicolai: Leave them to the garrison unit. The Falcon’s Claws have new worlds to conquer.
[Ciro crawls along the ground, having just fallen from the tree. Nicolai laughs.]
Nicolai: The little Inner Sphere warrior shows spirit.
[Natalya lifts Ciro in the air. His Star League medal dangles out of his tunic. Nicolai examines it.]
Nicolai: This one appears to be of noble heritage. He shall have the honor of serving as my bondsman.
[Meanwhile, in the mines…]
Hawk: You made the right call, Major. The only call. Every leader’s got to deal with losses.
Adam: Ciro is still my responsibility.
Hawk: So is the crew of the Kwaidan.
Adam: And I don’t even know where they are!
Val: Knowing Franklin, he probably took off at the first sign of trouble.
[Rythmic thumping gets louder.]
Kylie: Clan ‘Mechs?
Adam: All right, look alive, people. Incoming!
Hartmann: It’s okay. Just the Romulus Militia. What’s left of ‘em, anyway. They got hit real bad at the spaceport.
Adam: Any word on my DropShip crew?
[Hartmann shakes his head.]
Adam: We gotta find ‘em!
Hawk: Don’t forget your basic priorities, Major. Focus on the mission.
Val: My mission is getting some ammo.
Hartmann: We got a munitions dump hidden nearby. Topside, but these tunnels will get us close.
Adam: Kylie, take your Banshee (Aerospace Fighter class) back to the JumpShip and hook up with Rachel.
Kylie: You got it!
Adam: We need to bring her tactical operations center within communication range. Don’t forget, this is an intelligence mission. Information is ammunition. The more we know about this Clan, the better our chances of defeating it.
[As dawn breaks over the Remus Spaceport and a Jade Falcon Overlord, Sakamoto, Frestadt, and Patch remain locked in a transport van on the tarmac next to the Kwaidan.]
Franklin: How much longer will they keep us penned up like sheep?
Patch: Long enough to strip your ship.
[Nicolai and Natalya as a Mad Dog strides down a DropShip ramp.]
Nicolai: I see the garrison has arrived.
Nicolai: Star Colonel Kristen Redmond. Well, this is a surprise. I was deeply saddened by the news of your demotion.
Kristen: Demotion, Nicolai? I was merely reassigned.
Kristen: Do you think that is wise, quineg. The Galaxy Commander has not granted you clearance to depart.
Nicolai: The key to a successful career, Kristen, is knowing when to move on and leave a vanquished world in…lesser hands.
[Pytor runs out of the DropShip.]
Pytor: Star Colonel, uh, might I have a moment of your time? I suspect this DropShip to be more than an ordinary Merchant vessel.
Nicolai: I believe I gave an order to disembark this pathetic planet.
Pytor: But should we not first interrogate the ship’s crew? Some of them have the eyes of warriors.
Nicolai: And you can tell the difference, old man?
[Nicolai looks in at the Kwaidan crew and scoffs.]
Nicolai: Pfah! Merchant Caste rabble. Garrison Commander, transfer these surats to the reeducation camp. That is, if you feel it would be proper without clearance from the Galaxy Commander.
[In space, the Banshee approaches the Katana, where it hangs near a small moonlet.]
Kylie: Cadet Kylie calling JumpShip Katana. Do you copy, JumpShip?
Rachel: Kylie, is that you? I’ve been cut off from the Strikers for so long, I’d even be glad to hear from Ciro. Kylie?
Kylie: Lieutenant, Ciro didn’t…
Rachel: I’m…I’m so sorry, Kylie.
[Back at the mines, the Hartmann’s Mauler leads Adam’s Axman through the tunnels.]
Adam: It’s like a maze down here.
Hartmann: These tunnels run all under the area. We used ‘em to defend against the Dracs back in the Third Succession War, back when the Romulus Militia was more than just a social club. The munition dump’s up this way.
[The two ‘Mechs emerge onto the surface.]
Hartmann: This was a major port back when Kerensky was in charge. Just storage, now.
[Adam looks closely at his sensors.]
Adam: All right, heads up, guys! We got company!
[A Point of Falcon Elementals charges into view. The two ‘Mechs begin retreating to the tunnel entrance.]
Hartmann: We’re in no shape to take them on. Looks like we’re out of luck.
Adam: You say you know your way around these tunnels?
Hartmann: Like the back of my hand.
Adam: Good. I got an idea.
[The Elementals enter the tunnels in pursuit of the ‘Mechs.]
[In space, a Falcon Overlord docks with a JumpShip. Nicolai Malthus addresses Ciro.]
Nicolai: Why do you stare at me like some mute animal? Why do you refuse to cooperate? You should be proud to serve as my bondsman, quiaff.
[Natalya throws Ciro to the deck.]
Natalya: Respond, freebirth!
Nicolai: Your bondcord is a symbol of your servitude. It will remain securely fastened until you have proven worthy of your Clan. You will begin by telling me your name, affiliation, and your unit’s strength.
[Ciro glares mutely at Nicolai.]
Nicolai: Very well. If you do not wish to conduct yourself with the honor of a warrior, perhaps you will find satisfaction performing duties more suitable to the Labor Caste. Put our new bondsman on latrine duty.
Natalya: Hmm. With pleasure, Star Colonel!
[On Romulus, a van heads towards the re-education camp, containing Sakamoto, Frestadt, and Patch and several other Kwaidan crewmen.]
Patch: For a cattle hauler, this thing is sure lacking in legroom.
[Sakamoto shushes Patch, then pries up a floor panel. Sakamoto crawls out and under the moving van, then up onto the rear hatch and then up to the roof. He crawls forward to the cab of the truck.]
Driver: What the…?
[Sakamoto kicks the driver out onto the road and takes over the vehicle, swerving madly to regain control and throwing the passengers around.]
[At the mines, the two ‘Mechs emerge from the tunnels and blast the Elementals, who are now out in the open. The scene shifts to Enhanced Imaging, and the Strikers attack the Elementals.]
Hawk: I hope this plan of yours works, schoolboy. If it doesn’t, the militia can’t spare any more booby traps.
[The ‘Mechs go back inside the mine entrance, with the Elementals in pursuit. Inside, they split up, confusing the Elementals in the dark warren of tunnels. The Elementals finally find a Wolfhound and swarm it. A counter in the cockpit reaches zero, and its engine explodes, destroying the ‘Mech and collapsing the mine.]
Adam: That ought to keep them busy for a while.
Hartmann: Much as I hate to see good ‘Mech parts go to waste, we need that ammo a lot worse.
[Meanwhile, aboard the Katana, Rachel tinkers.]
Kylie: But that’s my targeting system.
Rachel: We’ll put it back when we’re done with the mission. Right now, the important thing is to maintain contact with the Strikers.
Kylie: What happens when they start shooting at us?
[Back on Romulus, the prison bus returns to the spaceport with Sakamoto at the wheel]
Patch: Mech Tech McGuire to Major Steiner. Yo, Major! You readin’ me? Any way we can search for ‘em?
Franklin: No! We must focus on a single objective – the Kwaidan. Wakarimasu-ka?
[The bus drives past the Kwaidan, which is guarded by a Timber Wolf and Pytor’s Hunchback IIC.]
Franklin: Getting past them will require an army.
Patch: What are we supposed to do? Pluck one out of thin air?
[Back at the mine, the Strikers reload.]
Val: It’ll be nice firing something other than computer simulated rounds.
Hartmann: But what can we hope to accomplish?
Adam: Your Militia ‘Mechs can load up and run supplies into the city. We’ll keep the Clanners busy while you sabotage their resources. If we can’t run them off Romulus, we sure can make their stay here unpleasant.
[In space, the Banshee departs the Katana.]
Rachel: Lieutenant Specter to Major Steiner. Do you copy, Adam?
Kylie: Maybe they’re still underground.
Rachel: No one’s answering at the DropShip, either.
[In the mines, the ‘Mechs move out.]
Val: Are you sure this is smart, Major?
Adam: Remus Spaceport is the last place anyone saw the Kwaidan.
Hawk: I don’t know, Major. These tunnels will only take us so far. Soon as we’re topside, we’ll just be easy pickings.
[The ‘Mechs emerge into the open.]
Adam: It’s bad enough I lost Ciro. I won’t lose the DropShip crew as well.
[Patch, Sakamoto, and Frestadt return to the abandoned training center.]
Patch: This is your army?
Franklin: If this system can draw the Clan away from the spaceport, we may be able to recover our ship.
Patch: That’s a mighty big “if,” Frankie. I can barely make head or tails out of these old Star League toys. Kerensky’s boys could’ve at least left a map to help me find the on switch.
[Meanwhile, at the Hartmann farm ruins]
Adam: That’s Ciro’s Wolfhound! I don’t see any escape pod wreckage.
Hawk: I know what you’re thinking. Believe me, Major, nobody could have survived that.
[Lasers begin streaking past the Strikers. The Elementals have extricated themselves from the mines and are attacking.]
Val: I can’t see their faces, but I know they’re not happy.
[The Elementals swarm Ryder’s Centurion.]
Val: My jump jets are history! I can’t shake ‘em!
Hawk: Hang tight, Ryder. I’m on ‘em.
[Hawkins’ Mauler blasts two Elementals with its arm lasers. Elementals swarm the Axman, and begin punching the cockpit, cracking the ferroglass.]
Adam: Oh, man, what I wouldn’t give to have a couple of these in my unit. That’s it, guys. Focus on me. You won’t even see this coming.
[Adam triggers the LRM launchers. The Elementals go flying and disappear in a massive explosion.]
Adam: Phew. Two points for our team.
[The Elementals emerge from the flames, apparently unharmed. They take off their helmets and charge the Axman again. In the munitions depot, four Romulus Militia members fill a net with munitions]
Militia Trooper: That’s the last of the explosives, Colonel Hartmann.
Hartmann: All right, pick it up.
[A crane lifts the net up and hooks it over the rear laser barrel of Hartmann’s Wolfhound.]
Hartmann: Let’s show them what the Romulus Militia is made of! You gonna let that Steiner kid have all the fun out there? Move it, people! Look alive!
[The militia soldiers lash the munitions tightly to the Wolfhound.]
[At the training center, Patch works on the control panel. The screens flash to life.]
Franklin: Dekimashita. You’ve restored power.
Patch: Now I just have to figure out how to work the darn thing. Now, this looks like a good place to start.
[Patch touches a control, and a holo image of Rachel appears on the console.]
Rachel: Calling Romulus Militia. Do you copy, Romulus Militia?
Franklin: Lieutenant Specter?
Rachel: Franklin? What are you doing at the training field?
Franklin: Awaiting instructions on Star League technology, Rachel-san. Would you care to assist us?
[At the farm, the Elementals continue their attack.]
Adam: Val, Hawk. Cover me while I swat some flies!
[At the training center…]
Rachel: Now, if I remember my history, the old technology responded to vocal commands. Usually some patriotic code phrase like “The Star League Forever.”
Kylie: How about “The Inner Sphere United?”
Patch: “One species, one realm?”
[Sakamoto turns from looking at a framed portrait of Aleksandr Kerensky.]
Franklin: Kerensky will return.
[The system activates when Franklin gives the code phrase.]
Computer: Battle simulator initiated.
Franklin: Quickly, before the Clan ‘Mechs arrive.
[Sakamoto switches off the communicator.]
Rachel: Wait, have you heard from the…
[Sakamoto, Frestadt, and Patch run out to the truck.]
Patch: I think the Lieutenant was trying to ask us something.
Franklin: No time! We must hurry to the spaceport suru.
[At the spaceport, four ‘Mechs march away in a column while unarmored infantry guard the Kwaidan. The truck speeds towards the DropShip.]
Franklin: It appears our hologram army has created the necessary distraction. Stay here with the crew. I will take care of the guards.
[Sakamoto drives the truck past the guards, nearly hitting them. They run after the truck, laser rifles blazing. The rest of the crew, led by Frestadt and Patch, board the DropShip. Sakamoto slams the truck into reverse, scattering the guards. He jumps free of the cab just before it slams into a building and explodes, collapsing the building on top of it. Sakamoto runs up the boarding ramp.]
[At the farm, the Strikers continue to engage the Elemental Point.]
Adam: Brace yourselves, guys. Those toads are getting ready to hop.
[The Elementals jump, but go over the Strikers’ ‘Mechs and vector away.]
Hawk: Get this! They’re headed for the training field!
Val: Was it something we said? Guess we weren’t enough of a challenge.
[The Elementals begin firing at the holographic Thug.]
Adam: I’ll take a distraction any way I get it.
Rachel: Enjoy it while you can, Adam. It won’t last long.
Adam: Rachel? Is that really you?
[In space, the Banshee cockpit appears quite roomy, with several control stations.]
Rachel: Last time I checked. You ready for some info? I intercepted a Clan transmission. Apparently, the infrared trails on those holo-‘Mechs were enough to fool them.
[At the training field, Elementals try to swarm the Thug and pass right through it.]
Adam: Oh yeah? Well not anymore.
[The Elementals return to attack the Strikers, using missiles to blow the head of the Axman’s axe.]
Rachel: I got good news, Adam!
Adam: I could use some.
Rachel: I’m reading a power surge on the DropShip. Looks like the crew is back on board.
[The ‘Mechs from the spaceport arrive at the training center and join the fight.]
Kristen: Elemental point, cease fire at once! These three are mine.
Val: Run for the spaceport, guys. I’ll buy you some time.
[Ryder’s Centurion advances alone against Kristen’s Mad Dog.]
Adam: Val! No!
[A missile barrage sends the Centurion crashing to the ground. The other Strikers move to help.]
Hawk: Are you out of your mind, Major?
Adam: We have already lost Ciro. I won’t lose anyone else.
Hawk: Everybody gotta be a hero today?
Kristen: We meet again, little MechWarrior. Not to finish the Trial we began on Dustball.
[Adam’s Axman goes down hard.]
Adam: Come on, baby. Don’t quit on me now!
[Ryder emerges from the smoking hulk of his Centurion and grabs onto the Mauler’s leg as it passes.]
Hawk: Need a lift?
Kristen: Two down, one to go.
[Adam props the Axman up and knocks the Mad Dog down with a missile strike to its leg]
[At the spaceport, the militia ‘Mechs move to attack.]
Hartmann: What do you say we give these newcomers an official Romulus welcome?
[Pytor’s Hunchback IIC emerges from behind a DropShip and fires.]
Hartmann: It’s just the one ‘Mech. Give him everything you’ve got! Now!
[The combined militia fire tears off both legs, and the Hunchback IIC collapses to the ground in a fireball.]
Hartmann: Nice work, people!
[A Wolfhound moves up to the DropShip and drops the net full of explosives.]
Militia Pilot: Explosives are in place, Colonel. Too bad we can’t stay for the fireworks.
[The Axman and Mauler continue to fire as they back towards the spaceport. Behind them, the Kwaidan takes off.]
Hawk: Keep going! We can still make it to the spaceport!
Val: Oh, for the love of… They’re leaving without us!
Hawk: Blast! We never should have trusted those Dracs!
[The Kwaidan lands on top of the Elemental point.]
Hawk: Oh…all right. Maybe we should have.
Adam: First Somerset Strikers to Romulus Militia. We are ready to assist.
Hartmann: Thanks for the offer, Major, but we got this covered.
[As the Banshee flies over the spaceport, a Falcon Overlord explodes.]
Kylie: I guess our Clan buddies will have to hitch home.
[The Kwaidan takes off, leaving crushed Elementals in a crater where it landed.]
Adam: I just hope Hartmann was right about having things under control.
Val: I’d say there’s still some fight left in the old farmboy.
[After the Strikers depart, Nicolai Malthus leads Ciro out of a DropShip hatch and onto the tarmac on the outskirts of Remus City.]
Nicolai: I want you to witness the fate of lower caste dogs who dare to defy their betters.
Natalya: The evacuation is complete, Star Colonel.
Nicolai: Excellent. Commence sub-orbital saturation bombardment.
[An orbiting Falcon WarShip blasts Remus City into smoking ruin.]
[Aboard the Katana, Rachel monitors communications.]
Rachel: Adam, I just intercepted a communication from the Clans. You’d better take a look.
[The viewscreen displays images of smoke rising from a blackened crater and buildings in flames]
Nicolai: This is Star Colonel Nicolai Malthus of Clan Jade Falcon. The charred ruin you see before you was formerly the city of Romulus. These are the wages of those lesser castes who dare take up arms against the rightful rule of Trueborn Clan warriors. Any further resistance will meet the same fate.
Adam: Open all hailing frequencies.
Adam: This is Major Adam Steiner of the First Somerset Strikers. My unit was responsible for the uprising on Romulus, not its citizenry, who were punished in a cowardly display. If Star Colonel Nicolai Malthus has a quarrel with me, let him take it up personally.
[In his command center, Nicolai and Ciro watch Adam’s message.]
Nicolai: I promise you, Major, I shall.