Dispossessed describes the state of having lost or otherwise not having a BattleMech at one's disposal in the BattleTech universe. It is typically used to contrast against the status of an active MechWarrior (pilot).
The word carries a strong stigma. In the feudal societies that had formed after the fall of the Star League, especially in the lostech-ridden final years of the Third Succession War at the beginning of the thirty-first century, a BattleMech virtually guaranteed its owner wealth and status. In many respects it was the equivalent to a medieval knighthood, and at the same time the actual arms and armor of the MechWarrior. Serving as a MechWarrior could result in a noble title, land grants and fiefs. Often, families or whole fiefs were dependent on the income of a single MechWarrior.
Conversely, losing the 'Mech in battle or to a technical breakdown meant a sudden and drastic fall in social status, causing great grief. Many Dispossessed join conventional military branches (especially infantry or armor units), hoping that one day they can acquire a BattleMech through salvage.
Although typically meant in a permanent sense, the term can also be used to describe a temporary separation of a MechWarrior from his 'Mech, for example because a superior Lord denies the right to pilot a 'Mech (as it happened to Minobu Tetsuhara) or because the 'Mech and its pilot are shipped separately (the reason why Kai Allard-Liao piloted a borrowed 'Mech on Twycross).
The term has also been used to describe aerospace pilots who had lost their fighters.
- Technical Readout: 3025, p. 162